Appendix A: Proposal to Equal Exchange


Proposal to Equal Exchange to Create a Curriculum on Cooperatives for Professional Schools
Principal Investigator: John R. Whitman, Ph.D.
Babson College, Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship
Babson Park, MA 02457-0310
781-239-6459

2010 February 16

Just as trade itself, the “propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another” (Adam Smith) has defined and shaped relations among people beginning with the Sumerians around 3000 BC throughout history and around the world, so too does the nature of this exchange—reflecting the social values of those who engage in it—define the shape and relations among people. The tumultuous nature of this exchange is wonderfully told in William Bernstein’s book, A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World (Bernstein, 2008).

Yet a story largely untold, likely because it has not come under serious scrutiny, is that the prevailing nature of exchange taught in contemporary schools of business management is one that fails to present to students viable alternative forms of economic organization other than capitalism, which remains the unspoken default form of exchange. And yet, for all the economic value that properly regulated capitalism can provide, other forms of organization that create both social value and economic value—particularly cooperatives concerned with engaging informed consumers, honest and fair trade relationships, and cooperative principles—can and do thrive within capitalist economies. Through the work proposed here, we have an opportunity to influence the very nature of exchange in a way that transforms the world.

For a grant of $x from Equal Exchange, Babson College proposes to design, produce, and test a curriculum that teaches students in professional schools how the cooperative form of economic organization creates both economic and social value and conveys the social values important to Equal Exchange. The curriculum will be designed to stand-alone or supplement another course, with 7 and 14 week options. It will be teachable in business schools, law schools, schools of education, schools of medicine, or virtually any other type of professional school in which students should be aware of the benefits of organizing themselves in cooperatives, as well as the benefits of patronizing other cooperatives, especially, where possible, Equal Exchange. The curriculum, presented in English, should be appropriate throughout the United States as well as open to cultural modification for use in other countries around the world.

This proposal is an outcome of a recently concluded global scan by the Principal Investigator of educational programs that contribute to the social economy, which will appear as a chapter in a peer-reviewed book to be published by the University of Toronto in 2010. While there are several exemplary programs that teach about cooperatives and cooperative management, there is no known curriculum in modular form that could be adopted by virtually any professional school that serves the purpose proposed here.

Thus the creation of this innovative curriculum informed by principles of transformative education in the tradition of Stephen Brookfield (2005), Paolo Freire (1970), Jürgen Habermas (1981a, 1981b), and Jack Mezirow (1995, 2000) will provide an opportunity to advance the Equal Exchange vision by removing the existing barrier caused by the current lack of an authoritative and grounded curriculum that meets the requirements described here.
To address the Equal Exchange vision, creating a world of fairness, ethical commerce, and economic democracy will not just happen. One key opportunity of leverage is to reach and engage students while they are learning their professions, who in turn will become not only better-informed consumers, but also thought and opinion leaders in their respective professions and communities in the coming decades of their lives. The use of Equal Exchange as a model of cooperative action in the curriculum may well inspire students to join in the larger Equal Exchange community.

The impact of this curriculum will not be a one-time event. It will at a minimum be offered at the F. W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College and then, when finalized, the curriculum will be made available without charge to any other school worldwide on an ongoing basis. The curriculum will be tested at Babson College, among a class of willing members of Equal Exchange, and then released to other schools. Publicizing the curriculum through the media, scholarly papers, conferences, and access to both academic and practitioner networks engaged in cooperative studies we hope to scale up use of the curriculum across the nation and around the world.

The long term alliance potential of the curriculum will be founded first on the attribution to Equal Exchange for support and engagement in creating the curriculum, and second on the inclusion in the curriculum a case study on Equal Exchange itself.

The proposed program includes a measurable evaluation component that will track the effects of the program using a range of metrics, including: monitoring the number of institutions teaching the course, including their location; the number of students taking the course; pre- and post-course measures of awareness of cooperatives and Equal Exchange; and creating a repository of written student reflections on the meaning of cooperatives in advancing economic and social well-being.

The proposed curriculum development will be directed and largely created by John R. Whitman, Ph.D., adjunct lecturer in social entrepreneurship at Babson College, with support by currently enrolled MBA students under his direction. Dr. Whitman has created courses in Social Entrepreneurship; Entrepreneurial Philanthropy; Corporate Social Responsibility; Nonprofit Management; Curriculum Development; Assessment and Evaluation; Enrollment Management; Race and Ethnicity; and Information and Communication Technologies in Education, and is currently creating a course in Entrepreneurial Cooperatives, for which much of the groundwork of the proposed curriculum has already been laid. He has authored chapters for texts in Entrepreneurship and the Social Economy and has co-authored a book on customer satisfaction published by the American Library Association. Dr. Whitman has also worked in both the public and private sectors and started and sold a global software development company.

The curriculum development work includes desk research; interviews with academics, students, practitioners, and regulators; participation in conferences; and field studies resulting in material for case studies; travel to and from site visits; part-time compensation to research assistants; student stipends to support research and development directly pertaining to this curriculum development; and review of materials by experts in cooperatives as well as by Equal Exchange.

The working title of the curriculum is the Babson Equal Exchange Curriculum on Cooperatives. The deliverable will be an unpublished curriculum in a 7-week and 14-week format of 2.5 hours of classroom time or equivalent per week. The curriculum will include a syllabus including the course description, learning objectives, and a session-by-session schedule of instruction; course web site; readings, including case studies; student exercises, including at least one reflection paper to be posted on a web site; concepts for student field experience visiting cooperatives and working with a cooperative; a teacher guide and suggested rubric for grading; and a means by which course teachers can post evaluation results to a web site.

The proposed work will begin immediately and a final report to Equal Exchange will be provided in writing no later than 15 January 2011.
This proposal certifies that Babson College is a 501-c-3 educational organization.



Appendix B: Email Questionnaire Soliciting Learning Objectives


Sent 31 May 2010

Dear Cooperators,

I am working with Equal Exchange, a Fair Trade co-op (www.equalexchange.coop), to create a curriculum on cooperatives that will be freely available to professional graduate schools worldwide (Creative Commons license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/).

The purpose of the curriculum is to inform graduating students, in such professional fields as education, business, health, architecture, science/engineering, and law who are considering their work options, about co-ops, including the possibility of starting a co-op with their peers. This is a major opportunity to raise general awareness of co-ops.

Note that this curriculum is not an alternative to other, existing educational programs on cooperatives. In fact, we will include links to such programs for students who want to learn more.

The curriculum will be made available in various formats: a short, intensive introductory workshop; a 7-week course; and a 14-week course (full-semester). Teachers worldwide will be able to use or modify the curriculum. We may also offer workshops to students through career services offices and online through existing sites that currently offer cooperative-related training. Dissemination suggestions are welcome.

As part of our curriculum planning and design approach, we are inviting you to tell us what you think should be:

1. The essential learning objectives for such a course (what every student should know and be able to do);
2. The critical themes or challenges to be addressed by co-ops; and
3. Specific examples of cases, readings, or other materials that should be included in the curriculum.

Please respond to this as soon as possible.

This project has a stellar Advisory Board, and we are seeking additional volunteers who would like to guide the project and vet the content, so feel free to let me know if you would like to join the AB and engage in review tasks.

Also, please forward this email to any other cooperators, whether practitioners, academics, or other informed sources, requesting their input as well. They should respond directly to me at jwhitman @ ix.netcom.com

It is likely that version 1 of the curriculum will not be the last. The project will probably evolve. But we need to start somewhere. Our hope is to offer the first, tested materials by early 2011. Meanwhile, please respond (reply only to me, not to all) to the following items and let me know if you have any further comments or questions. We hope to announce a web site soon where you can track progress going forward.

Many thanks and best wishes,
John

1. The curriculum should have specific learning objectives, including what students should know; what they should be able to do; and what kinds of values and attitudes they should have about the subject. Please indicate specifically what you think should be the learning objectives of this curriculum.

2. Co-ops represent a unique model of organization guided by the 7 principles we all know and love. But in the course of starting and nurturing a co-op critical themes or challenges are likely to arise. What are the specific issues pertaining to co-ops that you feel every graduate student should know about?

3. As you think of learning objectives and issues to be addressed, perhaps some specific readings or other materials come to mind that you think should be included in the curriculum. Please give us the references to these materials so we can find them on the web, through Amazon, or through some other source. Better yet, send us a copy. This could also include existing syllabi and reading lists.

4. Any other comments or suggestions concerning the project.

5. Since we would like to acknowledge contributors by name, please indicate here how you wish your name to appear in the acknowledgements section (or ask that it not be included):

If you would like to mail materials, please send them to the address in my signature below.
Thank you!

John R Whitman, Ph.D.
Adjunct Lecturer
The Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship at Babson College
Blank Center, Room 204A
Babson Park, MA 02457-0310

TEL: 781-239-6459
FAX: 781-239-4178
www.babson.edu





Appendix C: Workshop Announcement


For students approaching graduation and seeking career opportunities, this workshop will equip you with an understanding of cooperatives as a business model that creates both economic and social value. In contrast to other corporations and nonprofit organizations, cooperatives are owned by their members (e.g., the workers) who operate the business democratically, each with one share and one vote, and determine how earnings are to be distributed. Cooperatives may be small, with only a few members, or quite large, such as $2 billion Ocean Spray or the $27 billion global conglomerate, Mondragón.

The Career Development Office is pleased to offer the Introduction to Cooperatives Workshop. The Workshop is offered in two, four-hour parts: Part 1, The Cooperative Employment Option provides an intensive introduction to cooperatives and how they are different from other models of organization, and how to find cooperative jobs and opportunities; Part 2, Starting Up a Cooperative focuses on the steps to starting a cooperative and details on finances and governance. You may take just Part 1, but if you have any entrepreneurial interest in starting a cooperative with your friends or associates, we recommend attending Part 2, as well.



Appendix D: Student Introduction Form


INTRODUCTION TO COOPERATIVES
[SESSION]
STUDENT INTRODUCTION
Welcome to the course!
1. Your name:

Your academic level:

Your school:

2. Have you ever heard of Equal Exchange? If so, please briefly describe the company and the name or type of at least one of its products:

3. How would you define a “cooperative”? If possible, please give at least one example of a cooperative.

4. Specifically how did you learn about this course; was it recommended (if so, by whom)?

5. What do you do (describe study major/employment/whatever)?

6. What would you like to do?

7. What have you studied/majored in so far?

8. Have you ever started a cooperative or other type of company or organization? If so, please provide the name and a one-sentence description:

9. Have you ever worked in a cooperative, nonprofit organization, or philanthropic foundation? If so, please provide a one-sentence description:

10. Why did you decide to take this course, and why now?

11. What do you hope to learn from this course?
_ Theory
_ Practical tools
_ Other (please describe):

12. What do you hope to be able to do with what you learn here?

13. What three countries do you know the best?

14. Which status do you want to achieve first:
_ college professor
_ millionaire
_ entrepreneur
_ social entrepreneur
_ cooperator
_ other—please specify:
_ no clue—that’s why I’m taking this course

15. Are you more interested in working in a cooperative, nonprofit organization, foundation, for-profit enterprise, or government?
_ cooperative
_ nonprofit organization
_ foundation
_ for-profit enterprise
_ government
_ don’t know yet
___ other—please specify:

16. What is your top source of business news?

17. What is your top source of world news?

18. Demographics

a) Are you (circle one): Female Male

b) Nationality:

c) Age:

19. Comments/questions:

If you need to contact me for any reason, please do so: [teacher’s contact information]
Thanks!
[teacher’s name]



Appendix E: Post-course Evaluation


INTRODUCTION TO COOPERATIVES
Follow-up Evaluation
1. Your name:

Your academic level:

Your school:

2. Have you ever heard of Equal Exchange? If so, please briefly describe the company and the name or type of at least one of its products:

3. How would you define a “cooperative”? If possible, please give at least one example of a cooperative.

4. Based on what you now know about cooperatives, how likely is it that you might work in a cooperative later in your career?
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Very Unlikely
Unlikely
Somewhat Unlikely
Somewhat Likely
Likely
Very Likely
Undecided

5. Based on what you now know about cooperatives, how likely is it that you might work in a cooperative shortly after graduation?
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Very Unlikely
Unlikely
Somewhat Unlikely
Somewhat Likely
Likely
Very Likely
Undecided

6. In a brief essay of about 100 words, how would you describe the meaning of cooperatives in advancing economic and social wellbeing?

Thank you!