Area of Cooperativism
A cooperative nature is one of the basic features of the Faculty of Humanities and Education Sciences, first, because in 1980, four years after the foundation of the Eskoriatza Teacher Training School (precedent of today’s Faculty), it became a cooperative educational institution, and second, because one of the main lines of work of the Faculty is reflection on cooperativism and the dissemination of its values.
The commitment of the Faculty of Humanities and Education Sciences to cooperativism is longstanding. Indeed, in 2001 we created a research center in this field: the LANKI Institute of Cooperative Research. It was created with three goals: first, to analyze the Mondragon cooperative experience and the cooperative movement in general; second, to promote social and solidarity economics; and third, to promote social innovation and self-empowerment. For what purpose? To help create a fair and better society.
Cooperatives combine business logic and human values, from that point of view, we are convinced that cooperativism is a useful tool for acting in the economy and organizing society. Thus, in the LANKI Institute of Cooperative Research, taking current challenges as a point of departure, we are renewing and consolidating the inherent characteristics of cooperativism to forge 21st-century cooperativism by working in cooperation and sharing experiences.
LANKI has two primary tasks: first, to combine university knowledge and cooperative practice; and second, to have an impact on the local and foreign cooperative situation. We have the following resources for this purpose: cooperative education, research and consulting, and dissemination, all of which can be brought to bear for a greater purpose: to boost cooperativism and to share in different arenas the knowledge and experience that we have gathered during all our years in the field of cooperativism.
We have unprecedented experience in cooperativism training: more than 12,000 cooperativists have taken part in our training, work sessions, and tailored courses. Additionally, we have university-level offerings: Master’s degrees, specialist certifications, and a number of courses aimed at professionals.
The second strength of the LANKI Institute is research and consultancy on cooperativism. We have a very close relationship with society, business, public institutions and agents of the cooperative movement. Indeed, one of the goals of the group is to conduct research and at the same time transfer that knowledge. Thus, throughout all our years in the field, we have guided research and consultancy as well as dozens of projects through the LANKI Institute.
Additionally, dissemination is essential to cooperativism, that is, it must reach people, and we also work hard in this area through journals, books, articles, audiovisual materials, etc. We release many different productions both on paper and through digital media, all of which have one clear goal: to make the leap from the academic arena to society.
Today, we have more than ten instructor/researchers working at the LANKI Institute.