«Cooperatives have an inbuilt Innovation Motor»

In a series of interviews by the General Building Cooperative Zurich (Allgemeine Baugenossenschaft Zürich, ABZ) executives have held talks with experts from the real estate industry, the cooperative movement, politics and science. As from June 2016, ABZ publishes one of the six interviews on its website monthly. In the third part of the series Franco Taisch speaks with Hans Rupp, CEO of ABZ.
 
For Franco Taisch, the demographic development is a challenge and also an opportunity for housing cooperatives. With increasing age, the housing situation of the population changes. The cooperative idea here is particularly suitable, since old people can try out new forms of living in the sense of self-help groups.

Cooperatives are not primarly designed to benefit investors, as they are not profit maximizing. Thus they suit well for the provision of infrastructure in the private sector. But Taisch also points out, that cooperatives should move in the same market as other business models. A helathy economy needs diversity. For certain infrastructure issues, stock corporations are more appropriate, and for others the state is responsible. But cooperatives will always have a prominent place in the future, if they do somithing about it. Especially successful networks are crucial. They maintain a local presence, but also bring the benefits of larger units with them. Here, associations such as ABZ need to be strengthened and they have to provide real added value for their members.
 
See the whole interwiew (german) on abz.ch