March 2006 Happenings
International scholar to speak on Finnish-American Cooperatives Mar. 20,
HANCOCK -- What is a co-op? Hannu Heinilä will be answering that question and
more in two detailed, free public talks at 6 p.m.. on Monday, Mar. 20, and at 6
p.m. on Monday, Mar. 27, at the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock.*
Heinilä heads the Tourism Program at Häme Polytechnic University of Applied
Sciences in Finland. He is presently the visiting Paloheimo scholar at Finlandia
On Mar. 20, Heinilä will speak about "Early Efforts of the Co-op Movement,"
the educational activities integral to the success of local co-ops in the early- and mid-20th century.
His second talk, on Mar. 27, will be "Education, Activities and the Co-op Movement,"
including the importance of Central Cooperative wholesale activities, such as management training, women’s
guilds and summer camps nationally.
Heinilä offered his own definition of a co-op: "It’s a democratic organization. People form a co-op...so they can run
the business together. One man, one vote....They’re basically important for doing things together. Most people shop in supermarkets, but say they
prefer small things, small stores."
He said co-ops also allow people to "have an influence in how businesses function."
"Anybody can join them," Heinilä added. "But stores are only one possibility.
You can have housing co-ops, utility co-ops, banking co-ops and so on."
Where did Heinilä's interest in the co-op movement stem from?
As a scholar, he was thinking of possible subjects for his dissertation. When he began studying
Finnish immigrants living during the early decades of the 20th century, his research
in archives inspired him to examine the issue. In his lectures Heinilä intends to examine the various types of co-ops
people have created and ways they were managed effectively. To illustrate his points, he will use historical
photographs. He will also examine the scope of co-ops in Finland, where the country’s largest retail chain is a
Heinilä suggested these speaking engagements be regarded as discussions instead
of lectures, so feel free to attend and discuss.
Heinilä's visit is supported by a grant that Finlandia University received from the Paloheimo Foundation.
These lectures are free and open to the public. Registration is not necessary. The Finnish American Heritage Center is located at 435 Quincy Street in downtown Hancock. For more information please contact Christine
Raffaelli, administrative coordinator, Suomi College of Arts & Sciences, at 906-487-7519.
* Editor's Note: These lectures have been rescheduled because of
Visit the Keweenaw Now discussion forums to comment
on this article.
Want to stay in the K-NOW? Don't miss out on the whole story. Find out how you can help.
Hire a Writing Pro
Does the writing on your Web site leave something to be desired? Thesis grammar getting you down? Find out how we can help.
Lure Our Readers to You
Our readers share your passion for the Keweenaw Peninsula. Lure them to
you through banners, sponsorships, and more.