Co-operative enterprises
build a better world

Call for contributors for vocabulary of Co-operative Key Words

24 Aug 2017

The Co-operative College is compiling a list of key words of co-operation in a joint project with the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). These can be defined as words of particular significance in relation to a specific activity or discipline or which carry several senses.

The College and MMU want the Co-operative Key Words to be the product of co-operative research and are inviting entries for the words they have identified.

The list of key words will be available online. A hardcopy version will also be published, which will include longer entries for the terms. Any royalties from the sale of the book will be given to the Co-operative College.

Those interested in writing an entry for one or more of those already listed can contact Keith Crome ( or Patrick O’Connor (, identifying the word (or words) for which they would be able to provide a definition. The two organisations have published a list of key words as well as an example entry.

"The idea for the key words came out of a discussion between myself, Patrick O'Connor and Cilla Ross of the Co-operative College," said Keith Crome, a philosopher at MMU.

We've identified around 65 key words. But this isn't a fixed limit. We want the online key words to be an open access resource, and as well as asking for contributors to write an entry for a word we've chosen (or later-on, add to an entry for one of those words), we'd like contributors to suggest additional key words.

"The co-operative movement has a long history, and co-operation is a vital, constantly evolving set of practices - it takes place in different ways and forms, in a wide variety of domains, and against widely varying backgrounds. The semantic field pertaining to co-operation is consequently vast and ever-changing, and the words, concepts and ideas that are key to the movement are shifting in meaning and developing all the time. Identifying the keywords in this field is beyond the capacity of one or two people. A really useful resource must be a co-operative endeavour," he added.

Photo: Keith Crome