One of the key people involved in Barack Obama's election as the United States President will address delegates on Thursday. Internet expert Sam Graham-Felsen will deliver the keynote address at the opening session. Mr Graham-Felsen will talk about his successful utilisation of social media and technology as a means of driving a campaign, while he was the chief blogger on the Obama campaign. Mr Graham-Felsen was also involved in directing the campaign's online rapid response operation, as well as producing and collaborating online videos for the campaign. During this morning session, delegates will also have a summary presentation about the International Year; the goal for the year; and what the ICA will be doing during the year. Following this session, ICA delegates will be able to network to meet colleagues from around the discuss important issues for the International Year. Co-operatives will also focus on world peace, and what contributions the Co-operative Movement has made in this area. The international movement has demonstrated a long-standing association with efforts to create a more peaceful world. Almost invariably, co-operative movements have been the children of difficult and tense situations. Amid such pressures, co-operatives have sought to transcend differences and bring people together for a common cause. They have, directly and indirectly, made important contributions to creating more peaceful societies and therefore a more peaceful world. This session will reflect on what co-operatives have contributed, are contributing, and will contribute to peace. Throughout, Thursday a major meeting of the Youth Co-operative Movement will take place. It will be an opportunity for youngsters around the world to meet. The one-day conference will share the same theme as this year's International Day of Co-operatives as declared by the United Nations - "Youth, the future of co-operative enterprise". The day aims to train and strengthen co-operative youth networks around the world, highlight different co-operative youth programmes, and learn about and enhance the participation of youth in co-operatives. A session argues that co-operatives can affect performance figures for the economic vitality and quality of life in the communities they operate. To help further solidify these assumptions, experts will discuss how co-operatives can do better to report these outcomes. The session says it will look at jobs, wages, revenues, and assets, as well as how they affect operating regions. The commitment to democratic participation, economic co-operation, and the provision of affordable, high-quality goods and services serves to differentiate co-operatives from other businesses, and such practices spill over into other community activities and capacities. Much of what we know about co-operative performance and impact, however, is based on anecdotal evidence and limited empirical research. The ICA Committee on Co-operative Research Symposium will focus on the importance of measurement and the use of sound methodological approaches. Speakers will explore measurement issues related to specific sectors and examine a number of approaches to evaluating co-operative performance and impact. A portion of the symposium will be devoted to a more in-depth discussion of the proposed changes for the Global 300 Report. CICOPA and IHCO is set to launch an open debate on how to build a path towards a co-operative development strategy, based on the concrete experience of co-operatives in industrial, service, social, craft and health sectors. A round table of around 30 key persons involved in development strategies and policies will debate among themselves and with an audience, coordinated by a moderator who will facilitate the discussions and solicit input from all attendees. The ICA's Gender Equality committee will look at how Gender Equality helps Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World. The meeting will be devoted to highlight the contribution of gender equality for co-operative success and to think over challenges and new perspectives for the future. In social media, An international panel of co-operators will share insights about how their co-operatives have successfully used web technology to both promote their businesses and make a real difference to their members. The ICA's communications committee hosts a session that will look at unique challenges and opportunities faced by co-operatives around the world online. Led by representatives of the ICA Communications Committee, the meeting will look at how to influence the media, getting co-operative news to a global audience; and ensuring co-op messages reach out through web and social media. The Global Development Fund will make an appeal to co-operatives to help finance the initiative. During this workshop, speakers from the movement will discuss co-operative development funding opportunities for developing countries in various regions, specifically the proposed Fund. Speakers will also look at the changing face of development aid and what this means for co-operative development agencies. This workshop is addressed to co-operative development agencies working in developing countries and participants from developing countries. • For further coverage of the ICA's General Assembly, follow our special page dedicated to the conference.