Seminar Series

Scott Banda, CEO of Federated Co-operatives,
presenting in the Centre's Seminar Series

The Centre hosts a seminar series that highlights the research activities of Centre personnel and colleagues in other units at the University of Saskatchewan, co-op practitioners, as well as visiting scholars and researchers from other universities and institutions both in Canada and abroad. Highlights of these are presentations of student research funded by the Centre, in particular the annual Hartley and Margaret Fredeen Scholarship in Co-operative Studies Seminar, during which recipients of the Fredeen Scholarship present their research results.

The MacPherson Talks, another special seminar series at the Centre that takes place annually in the fall, honours late Centre friend and colleague Dr. Ian MacPherson. It features a presentation by a distinguished co-op researcher or practitioner whose interests reflect Ian's passion for co-operatives. Read more about Ian here.

Below is a sample of seminar topics and presenters over the past five years, as well as information about upcoming presentations in 2018.

2018 Seminars

Friday, 11 May 2018 — "Challenges Facing Agricultural Co-operatives: Consolidation, Efficiency, and Market Power," by Keri Jacobs, assistant professor and Cooperatives Extension Specialist, Department of Economics, Iowa State University. This is a joint seminar with the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Saskatchewan.

     Keri Jacobs

Monday, 29 January 2018 — "Human Resourcing and Skills Development in Indigenous Arctic Co-operatives," by Simon Berge, Business Chair of Co-operative Enterprises, Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Winnipeg

     Simon Berge

2017 Seminars

Friday, 15 December 2017 — "Co-operative Governance by the Numbers: An Examination of What Co-ops Get Right (and Wrong)," the annual Hartley and Margaret Fredeen Scholarship in Co-operative Studies Seminar by the 2017 scholarship winner, Travis Reynolds

     Travis Reynolds

Monday, 2 October 2017 "Credit Unions in Canada: Six Design Principles for Greater Co-operation," the Third Annual MacPherson Talk, presentation by Dionne Pohler, assistant professor, Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, University of Toronto; Fellow in Co-operative Strategy and Governance, Centre for the Study of Co-operatives

     Dionne Pohler

riday, 28 April 2017 — "Consumer Society and the Potential of New Co-operative Arrangements," presentation by Maurie Cohen, professor, Sustainability Studies, Department of Humanities, New Jersey Institute of Technology

     Maurie Cohen

Monday, 30 January 2017
— "Achieving Sustainable Livelihoods: The Integrated Co-operative Model in East Africa," presentation by Lou Hammond Ketilson, JoAnn Jaffe, and Cindy Hanson. Read more here.


From left: Lou Hammond Ketilson, JoAnn Jaffe, and Cindy Hanson

2016 Seminars

Thursday, 15 December 2016 — "Power in Rural Alberta: The Struggle for Control of the Regulatory Environment," presentation by Eric Neudorf, The Hartley and Margaret Fredeen Scholarship in Co-operative Studies Seminar. Read more here.

       Eric Neudorf

Wednesday, 16 November 2016 — "Governance Challenges at Mountain Equipment Co-op," presentation by Shona McGlashan, chief governance officer, Mountain Equipment Co-op. Read more here.

     Shona McGlashan

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 — "Changing Governance in European Co-operatives: Simply Shifting or Losing Control?" The second lecture in the annual MacPherson Talks, honouring the late Dr. Ian MacPherson, by Markus Hanisch of the Humboldt University of Berlin. Reception to follow in the River Room, Diefenbaker Building. Read more here.

     Markus Hanisch

21 September 2016 — "Issues in the Governance of Federations," presentation by Brett Fairbairn, Fellow in Co-operative Thought and Ideas, Centre for the Study of Co-operatives, professor, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan. Read more here.

     Brett Fairbairn

4 August 2016 — "Goal Alignment in Successful Growth Strategies: A Look at Four Entrepreneurial Producer Co-operatives," presentation by Lisa Callagher, visiting professor from New Zealand. Read more here.

     Lisa Callagher

21 March 2016 — "Co-operative Higher Education after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission," presentation by Centre Fellow Isobel Findlay. Read more here.

    Isobel Findlay

13 January 2016 Student poster presentations based on the class Co-operatives in the New Economy: Institutions, Governance, and Policy, taught by Brett Fairbairn through the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy


17 December 2015the annual Hartley and Margaret Fredeen Scholarship in Co-operatives Studies seminar; Victoria Taras gave a presentation titled "Co-operatives and the Saskatchewan Disability Strategy." Read more here.

Victoria Taras

30 November 2015"When Big Co-ops Fail," — presentation by Peter Couchman, chief executive of the Plunkett Foundation, Woodstock, UK

Peter Couchman

3 November 2015 — "On the Curious Case of Co-operative Capital," presentation by Brent Hueth, director, University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, and a member of the Centre's advisory board. Read more here.

Brent Hueth

14 October 2015 — Saskatoon Co-op Week Luncheon, "Germany's Renewable-Energy Co-operatives: Policy, Governance, and Social Innovation," presentation by Brett Fairbairn, acting director, Centre for the Study of Co-operatives

Brett Fairbairn

15 September 2015 —
"Rethinking the Economics of Co-operatives." This was the inaugural presentation in The MacPherson Talks by Dr. Carlo Borzaga from the European Research Institute on Co-operative and Social Enterprises at the University of Trento in Italy. Read more here.

Carlo Borzaga

12 May 2015
— "Governance Issues in Multilevel Co-operative Bank Networks." Presentation by Dr. Ivana Catturani, a postdoctoral fellow from the University of Trento in Italy, who was at the Centre for three months supported by a fellowship from the Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme. Ivana was also supported by EURICSE, the European Research Institute on Co-operative and Social Enterprises. While with us, Ivana studied the Canadian model of financial co-operative, focussing in particular on governance and the Desjardins model in Quebec. Read more here.

Ivana Catturani

21 April 2015 —
Meeting with Ben Klindt, general manager, Villiersdorp Co-operative Ltd. Ben was visiting from South Africa and shared some of his insights on co-operatives and recent South African affirmative action policy. He discussed Black Economic Empowerment, a programme launched by the South African government to redress the inequalities of Apartheid by giving disadvantaged groups economic privileges previously not available to them. It includes measures such as employment preference, skills development, ownership, management, socioeconomic development, and preferential procurement.

16 April 2015 — "How Can Co-ops Become More Productive and More Profitable?"
Presentation by Dr. Avner Ben-Ner from the Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies
at the University of Minnesota.  Read more here.

Avner Ben-Ner

17 March 2015 — "Laying the Cornerstones for a New National Credit Union Trade Association."
Presentation by Marc-André Pigeon, director, Financial Sector Policy, Credit Union Central of Canada.
PDF of poster

PDF of PowerPoint presentation

Marc-André Pigeon

7 January 2015 — "Analyzing Co-op Policy Cases" — poster presentations by students in
JSGS 846: Co-operatives in the New Economy: Institutions, Governance, and Policy PDF

Eric Neudorf and Victoria Taras explain their poster presentation
on Realizing the Benefits of Organizational Diversity


10 February"Fates of Co-operative and Mutual Enterprise Systems in the Neoliberal Era: Mutual Bank Conversions to Stock Corporations in the US," presented by Marc Schneiberg, professor of Sociology, Reed College, Portland, OR PDF

Marc Schneiberg with Centre Fellow Dionne Pohler

29 October — "The National Film Board of Canada and Co-op Films: A Historical Survey," presented by George Melnyk, associate professor, Film Studies, Department of Communication, Media, and Film, and Canadian Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Calgary PDF

George Melnyk

11 December — "Partnerships for Health: Universal Health Care in Tanzania," The Hartley and Margaret Fredeen Scholarship in Co-operative Studies Seminar, presented by Cara Spence Gress, PhD Candidate, Co-op Concentration, Interdisciplinary Studies PDF

Cara Spence Gress


21 January — “Counting on the Difference: Credit Unions and the Co-operative Model,” presented by Keith Nixon, CEO, SaskCentral, in conjunction with the Dean's Speaker Series at the Edwards School of Business PDF

20 March — “Co-operatives, Co-operation, and Peace,” presented by Ian MacPherson, late emeritus professor of History, University of Victoria, and Scott Kim, visiting researcher

26 March — “Concentra and the Resurgence of the Financial Co-operative Model,” presented by Ken Kosolofski, CEO, Concentra Financial, in conjunction with the Dean's Speaker Series at the Edwards School of Business

6 May —“Co-operatives as Sustainable Actors,” presented by Carolin Schröder, Technical University of Berlin, visiting professor

10 September — “Agricultural Co-operatives in Spain: What Can They Learn from the Canadian Experience?” presented by Cristina Cano Ortega, University of Almeria, Spain, visiting scholar

31 October — “Leveraging the Co-operative Business Model as a Source of Competitive Advantage,” presented by Dionne Pohler, assistant professor, School of Public Policy, and Centre Fellow PDF
25 November — “Do Co-ops and Credit Unions Contribute to Rural Community Viability?” presented by Rose Olfert, professor, School of Public Policy and Centre Scholar

2 December — “How Can Organizational Frameworks and Policy Environments Support Co-op Development?” 2013 Hartley and Margaret Fredeen Scholarship in Co-operative Studies Seminar, presented by Monica Juarez Adeler, Centre PhD candidate PDF


25 January — “The Boomerang Effect: How Quebec’s School Co-ops Are Training the Next Generation of Co-operators,” presented by Jean-Emmanuel Bouchard, president, Fédération québécoise des coopératives en milieu scolaire PDF

16 February — “Making the Invisible Count: Gender Equity in a Fair Trade Coffee Co-operative in Nicaragua,” 2012 Hartley and Margaret Fredeen Scholarship in Co-operative Studies Seminar, presented by Jannie Wing-Sea Leung, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, U of S PDF

22 March — “Co-operative Solutions: How the Fair Trade and Organic Coffee Markets Support Forested Ecosys­tems on Nicaraguan Coffee Farms,” presented by Michael Zelmer, communications director, Fair Trade Canada PDF

26 April — “Forestry Co-operatives: A Community-Based Approach to an Emerging Bio-Economy,” presented by Hayley Hesseln, Department of Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics, U of S PDF

4 October — “Balancing Growth and Sustainability,” presented by Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO, The Co-operators Group, in conjunction with the Dean's Speaker Series at the Edwards School of Business PDF

3 December — “The Co-operative Advantage,” presented by Scott Banda, CEO, Federated Co-operatives Limited, in conjunction with the Dean's Speaker Series at the Edwards School of Business PDF


20 January — "Building Respectful Relations: Community-University Research Partnerships in the Social Economy, " presented by Gayle Broad, Department of Community Development and Social Work, Algoma University PDF

7 April — "Humanizing the Economy: Co-operatives in the Age of Capital," presented by John Restakis, executive director, British Columbia Co-operative Association PDF


7 April — "Can Worker Co-operatives Reduce Recidivism? Italian Worker Co-operatives and Offender Rehabilitation," presented by Ann Hoyt, professor, Department of Consumer Science, University of Wisconsin–Madison PDF

16 November —" The Performance of Financial Co-operatives in the Financial Crisis: The European Experience," presented by Panu Kalmi, Academy Research Fellow and Adjunct Professor, Aalto University School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland; co-sponsored by the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy PDF