Italian Center for Documentation on Cooperation and Social Economy | Virtual museum

Virtual Museum
of cooperatives

The flowering of European civilization from the Middle Ages up today was supported by the diffusion of entrepreneurial talents more and more creative and specialized, that allowed the increase of productivity, and thus the resources available, of the life duration and of the diffusion of education. A crucial step for the affirmation of entrepreneurship was the liberty of undertaking new roads not only in the technologic field, but also in the institutional one and of enterprise forms. It is thanks to this liberty that starting from the first half of 19th century was affirmed, among others, the form of the cooperative enterprise. This form of enterprise is different from the capitalist one, since it considers its own compared advantage in the direct protagonism of the members of the enterprise, who not only work in it, but also direct it.

We want to offer a testimony of the vitality of the cooperative enterprise form in the development of economy and of Italian society since its origin, following the various stages, revisiting the ideal articulations and the productive localizations, with the purpose of transmitting to the visitor the enthusiasm and the tenacy that animated generations of cooperators and that still today move hundreds of milliaia of Italian people to recognize the cooperative form as a way of doing business at the same time competitive and human.

The virtual museum is not only a place for the memory where a documentation on the movement articulation, on the cooperative thought, on life stories, on legislation, on links with the cooperative movements abroad are kept, but is a place also looking to the future with halls dedicated to cooperative formation, to the modalities for constituting new cooperatives, to debates and to the press. It is also a non-anonymous place, where a dialogue to supply or receive documentation is established, for a capillary diffusion of the knowledge of the Italian cooperative reality. One of the objectives of the virtual museum is in fact to incentivize who is already part of the cooperative movement to make available his memory by means of documents, bibliographic indications, prints, pictures.

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