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BC Institute for Co-operative Studies

The BC Institute for Co-operative Studies was founded in January 2000 under the directorship of Dr Ian MacPherson, and is based at the University of Victoria.

BCICS is a catalyst for research, learning, and teaching about co-operative thought and practice. BCICS collaborates locally, nationally, and internationally with other post-secondary institutions, the co-operative sector, governments, individuals, and communities interested in co-operative development.

The purpose of the Institute is to understand how the co-operative model functions within different contexts, and to assess the contribution co-ops make to empowering people and communities in meeting their economic and social needs and controlling forces that impact their lives.

BCICS is an educational, research, and resource institute on and for co-operatives. BCICS researchers gather information and local knowledge from experienced co-operators, from people interested in the development of co-operatives, and from people concerned with social and economic development. Our commitment is to provide various resources and avenues to bring together people and ideas about co-operatives.

  • As a research institute, BCICS is actively engaged in research projects at the local, provincial, national and international level.
  • As a resource institute we are building a rich resource base of materials drawn from our research and extensive searches of archives, library catalogues, the Internet and our wider network of contacts. We offer an on-site co-op library as well as a virtual galleria and other online resources, including several extensive website collections and numerous publications.
  • As an educational institute, BCICS assists in the development and offering of academic courses on co-operatives at the University of Victoria and disseminates the results of our research through conferences, community workshops, publications, and educational materials.

BCICS Online

The BCICS website is one of the Institute's top priorities. In six years, it has grown into a significant collection of online information related to Co-operative Studies. The website is an interactive tool connected to other co-operative websites in order to link and develop resource materials for research and teaching.

You will find:

  • An easily searchable catalogue for the Saxena Libary of Co-operative Resources, which is located physically in the BCICS Building;
  • Research materials in the form of co-operative case studies, papers, manuals, and student research.
  • The Research By Sectors section which provides case studies of the impact of co-operatives within 19 sectors of the B.C. economy.
  • Announcements of conferences, seminars, courses and workshops open to the public;
  • The BCICS Newsletter, with updates on Co-op activity and discussion of issues important to co-operators.
  • The Co-op Act Facts section which answers the frequently asked questions about the BC Co-op Act.
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