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March 23, 2012

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Guy De Koninck

Swift is a cooperative and 2012 is the United Nations International year of cooperatives. To learn more about this strange animal, I participated last Friday in a symposium on
cooperative enterprises. According to Wikipedia, in ancient Greece a symposium was a drinking party, but this one was the academic conference variety.

I learned that there are 7 principles for a cooperative, which throughout the presentations and conversations I narrowed down to 3 key elements: a cooperative is a democratic, community oriented business. And all cooperatives struggle with the balance between these three, whether they are providing messaging, milk or microfinance. Maybe seeing ourselves as farmers or family businesses working together for our common future on this earth might be a refreshing point of view when discussing the future and innovation at Swift.

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