Building Community The Cooperative Way
Someone once said that “everybody ends up somewhere in life. A few people end up somewhere on purpose, and those are the ones with vision.” Vision sets a direction for our lives, organizations and communities. It serves as a road map. It provides the push we need to get past challenges, and the energy for the effort. Without vision our passion leaks, agendas surface, production falls, and people scatter without a purpose or hope.

Building Community the Cooperative Way represents a vision for meeting the challenges facing our communities through the cooperative business model. The cooperative model has been adapted throughout history to meet challenges within society. A cooperative has been defined by the USDA as “a user-owned, user controlled business that distributes benefits on the basis of use.” A core principle of cooperatives is cooperating and collaborating with those who share common needs and a vision for meeting those needs. Cooperatives provide a community platform, enable new and joint investments, and create a networked community.

Recently Central has helped launch a new initiative for communities. Smart Community Source will develop a common purpose within our communities. A collaboration of the NESI-SES (National Energy Solutions Institute-Smart Energy Source) Association, Central Electric Cooperative and Oklahoma State University, the initiative will help foster collaboration that will serve as a catalyst for communities to plan and develop resources that help the community become smarter.

We will be sharing more about the initiative on social media, so be sure to follow the hashtags: #SignficanceOfVision, #PowerOfCommunity, #CooperationEqualsResults, and like Smart Community Source on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

The H.G. Wells novel The Time Machine introduced the idea of time travel. Space travel we have conquered but time travel continues to elude us. We are designed to travel through time moment by moment. The limitations are that we cannot move backward, and we can only move forward one moment at a time. One inescapable emphasis: even with a time machine you cannot change the past, so our challenge is to change the future. This reality exemplifies the significance of vision. Our vision is to confront today’s challenges so we can build a brighter tomorrow.


The phrase, “no one stands alone" echo’s the statement, “power of community.” Community transcends the geographic location, it is about people standing together for a common purpose. Serving others is a great purpose to invest in. We can serve others by creating opportunities and improving quality of life.

Today we need leaders who work together for the betterment of our communities. “Honor bespeaks worth. Confidence begets trust. Service brings satisfaction. Cooperation proves the quality of leadership.” – James Cash Penney. Today we need leaders who work collectively together for the betterment of our communities.

We are excited about the role Central can play in our community’s future. Join us in building tomorrow’s smart communities, visit the website