Co-ops invited to celebrate, collaborate at Co-operate 2021 event


The sixth cooperative principle, cooperation among cooperatives, is the inspiration for Co-operate 2021: Leveraging the Cooperative Advantage, an event planned for Nov. 16-17, 2021, at the Bismarck State College National Energy Center of Excellence in North Dakota. Hosted by the Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives (QBCC) and the North Dakota Coordinating Council of Cooperatives (NDCCC), Co-operate 2021 aims to celebrate, collaborate and expand the impact of cooperatives by re-energizing the value proposition of the cooperative business model.

“The event will bring co-op directors, employees, and members together for two days of resource sharing, networking, and learning,” says QBCC Director Frayne Olson. “Ag, energy, food, and financial cooperatives are encouraged to join us as we connect, learn, and challenge our visions for the future.”

Attendees will hear from speakers on a variety of topics, including disruptive technology, strategic planning, and the value of the cooperative business model. Presentations include:

  • Revisiting Cooperation, Dr. Daniel Côté, honorary, HEC Montréal (business school); adjunct professor, St. Mary’s University, Halifax. In this half-day workshop, Dr. Cote will demonstrate how the foundations of the cooperative model can be essential strategic levers, at both the business and association levels.
  • Your Strategic Future: Employing Your Cooperative Genius, Dr. Michael Cook, Robert D. Partridge endowed professor in cooperative leadership, University of Missouri-Columbia; executive director, Graduate Institute of Cooperative Leadership. Cook will discuss the dynamic processes that have led to cooperative success and how they can be used for strategic planning, board development, and member training.
  • Blockchain: What You Need to Know, Shel Holz, director of internal communications, Webcor. Holz will explain what blockchain is and how it works and share examples of how it will affect business and communications.
  • Off Balance On Purpose, Dan Thurmon, keynote speaker, and author. Evening Keynote Dan Thurmon will teach attendees how to adopt an “Off Balance On Purpose” approach as a realistic and empowering way to excel at work and life.

The event begins with a networking luncheon on Tuesday and concludes at noon on Wednesday.

Event registration is now open, with early bird pricing available through Sept. 30. For more information, including speaker biographies and presentation summaries, or to register, visit

This event is possible thanks to the support and generous contribution of sponsors, including CoBank, North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives, Basin Electric, North Dakota Farmers Union, Farm Credit Services of North Dakota, Farm Credit Services of Mandan, AgCountry, Minnkota Power Cooperative, Broadband Association of North Dakota, Farmers Union Insurance, and CHS.

Related Videos