How do cooperatives provide alternative business models and affordable housing opportunities, promoting equity, empowerment, and a sustainable future? The Berkeley Student Cooperative Alumni Association invites you to a panel featuring voices from local cooperatives and the UC Berkeley campus. Get inspired by information about the cooperative movement: its history, current trends, and how greater cooperation can help address some of the most pressing issues of our time.
Solomon Darwin is known as the visionary leader of the Smart Village Movement and for developing “smart village frameworks” based on cooperative values for rural villages with support of state and local governments in India and at UC Berkeley. Known as the father of smart villages, he has published two books called Smart Villages of Tomorrow: The Road to Mori and The Untouchables. (Rights to The Untouchables have been sold to Netflix.)
As an expert in “open innovation” and “open business models,” he is an adviser to senior executives of multinationals and government leaders in the emerging world such as Google, Genentech, HP, Health Net, J&J, Toyota, NHS of UK, UCSF, Royal Caribbean, Autodesk, and Nestle; and government entities in Mexico, China, Russia, India, Colombia, and Europe.
The Berkeley Student Cooperative (BSC) is a nonprofit housing cooperative that provides affordable housing, board, and leadership opportunities to students at UC Berkeley and other Bay Area colleges and universities. Founded in 1933, the BSC is the largest student housing cooperative in the United States.
The BSC’s mission is to provide a quality, low-cost, cooperative housing community to university students, thereby providing an educational opportunity for those who might not otherwise be able to afford a university education. Presently the BSC has over 1,300 student members living in or eating at more than 17 houses and three apartment cooperatives around the UC Berkeley campus. Each house is democratically run and all residents contribute our labor to help keep housing costs affordable.
The Berkeley Student Food Collective (BSFC) is a nonprofit collective grocery store dedicated to providing fresh, local, healthy, environmentally sustainable, and ethically produced food at affordable prices to the Berkeley campus and greater community.
The BSFC seeks to educate students about nutrition and food systems, empower new leaders, and train youth to work in and manage a sustainable business. Through inclusive, democratic decision-making, the BSFC operates a cooperative grocery market that promotes community-building and environmental stewardship.
The Bay Area Community Land Trust (BACLT) is a democratic community organization whose mission is to create permanently affordable and sustainable communities of cooperative homeowners, to take land and housing out of the speculative market, and to stabilize neighborhoods. These co-ops have nearly 50 residents, including working families, seniors, people with disabilities, people of color, and LGBTQ. These cooperative communities benefit workers, families, students, seniors, disabled, and low- and middle-income folks from diverse backgrounds — now and forever.