Elvy Del Bianco of Vancity Credit Union speaks to the power of cooperatives to help communities meet their own needs. He is in conversation with host Am Johal about the role coops can play in the production of social goods, and how they can support communities of entrepreneurs, small businesses, non-profits, and workers through solidarity and infrastructure. They also discuss the Vancity Emilia-Romagna Co-operative Study Tour and how this particular area of northern Italy has what Elvy calls, “the most significant cooperative economy on earth.” It’s also a region that sees some of the lowest poverty rates and highest levels of civic engagement in Italy. Am and Elvy discuss how similar cooperative policies and models could be implemented in BC and Vancouver to bolster communities, address precarious work, and deliver much needed services.Elvezio (“Elvy”) Del Bianco is a cooperative enterprise educator, developer, financier and advocate. He coordinates Vancity’s support for new and established cooperatives, co-founded and organizes the Cooperate Now co-op business boot camp, co-authored the “Seven Ways to Grow BC’s Co-op Sector” policy document, and works to build out the infrastructure to support new cooperative enterprises.
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