Someone from my local water supply company knocked on the door yesterday, to take routine water samples from the kitchen tap. He obviously wanted a chat, and asked what I did for a living.
When you say you’re a journalist, you can expect some follow-up questions. So, yes, I admitted, I do write for some of the national press. Yes, I’m freelance. Yes, I’ve written books. And, yes, I do specialise in certain areas and topics. Examples? Well, cooperatively run businesses, I replied, to give just one example.
I’ve had a professional website (www.andrewbibby.com) since around 1995 and most of my writings end up there, for anyone who fancies to have a look. But I’m aware that traditional websites are a one-way medium. My decision now to launch this blog is designed to open a more direct channel of communication with those who read my work and who want to respond. This blog will focus specifically on cooperative business, so if you’re interested in the other subjects I cover, I’m sorry but you’re in the wrong place: you’ll have to carry on monitoring my website.
My starting point is that the world needs successful business – to provide jobs and to provide the goods and services we all need. The question is what sort of businesses do we need? Those run simply in order to maximise short-term profitability and returns to investors – or those which aim to produce social and environmental as well as financial returns, and which try to be sustainable in the long-term? Given the choice, I’d vote for the second type of business.
That’s why I have a professional interest in businesses such as cooperatives which are structured in ways which are a little outside the usual. I think they are worth a thorough look. And that’s what I intend to do in this blog.
Let’s see where it takes us.