PODCAST; Finland – the future is cooperative

While Britain struggles with sky-high bills, and private water, electricity and oil companies make record profits, Finland relies on a unique system of economic shock absorbers. Cooperatives deliver everything from water and electricity to luxury hotel breaks. They started in the late 1800s and there are more cooperative memberships today than Finns – or saunas. How does it work? Lesley Riddoch’s been to Finland to find out. NB The picture shows the wooden wash-handbasins and baths that feature in the Solo Sokos Hotel in Lahti. It may be part of the huge S-Group cooperative with more than 3 million members but is still a uniquely local operation. With thanks to Risto Turanen, Kari Huhtala, VisitFinland, Finnair and Sokos Hotels.

Finnish Co-operatives

Finnish Co-operatives – Digital Notes “Co-operation in Finland” was the topic of the Cross Party Group on Co-operatives in conjunction with Nordic Horizons on Tuesday 23 February at 6pm in the Scottish Parliament, and was sponsored by Willie Coffey MSP. The speaker was Kari Huhtala, Director of co-operation with Pellervo, the Finnish co-op trade association. Presentation You can download a copy of Kari Huhtala’s powerpoint slides here. Vimeo Video Resources Kari discussed the scale of Finland’s 5,000 co-operatives across traditional agriculture, retail and banking sectors as well as the new wave of co-op start-ups as a response to the economic depression of the 90’s.’.  Kari gave a short video interview which summarises many of his thoughts about c...Read More

Nordic Cooperation

Nordic Cooperation – Event Details Nordic Co-operation   Members Restaurant Scottish Parliament 5th November 6-8.30pm   Hosted by Helen Eadie MSP  Chaired by journalist and NH Director Lesley Riddoch  Speakers: Johan Strang of the Helsinki-based Centre for Nordic Studies and author of the Nordic Communities report describing a “third Nordic Golden Age” and Mary Hilson author of The Nordic Model from UCL London. The Nordic Council was set up in 1952 – a few short years after Iceland declared independence from Denmark, and Finland backed the ill-fated German invasion of Russia whilst two Nordic neighbours endured Nazi occupation. No-one would have blamed the Nordic nations for being huffy with one another. But they weren’t. The five Nordic defence ministers already co-operate on Scheng...Read More


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