The cooperative model of employee-run businesses is going to become increasingly popular in the coming years, due to its ability to adapt to a wide variety of economic sectors, making it a viable alternative to the classic business, according to Bruno Roelants, Secretary General of the International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and Service Producers' Co-operatives (CICOPA). For example, worker cooperatives can be found in fields as diverse as forestry, food services, micro-breweries, ambulance services, manufacturing, communications, computers, and many others.
To mark this International Meeting on Worker Cooperatives, the organizers will be offering participants a thought-provoking discussion on the themes of governance and business development. Four expert cooperators will share their insight by answering the key question of this discussion: What are the main components of an optimal governance model for worker cooperatives?
The results of a study aimed at developing an optimal governance model will be revealed for the first time, and the guest speakers will broaden the discussion by relating their own personal experience. Participants will also be invited to share their specific experiences.
Members of worker cooperatives from various countries will be attending (Canada, United States, Argentina, France, Spain, etc.).
Isabel Faubert Mailloux, Strategic Development Advisor with the Réseau de la coopération du travail du Québec (RESEAU), kindly answered a few questions about the event for us.
How many participants are you expecting at the event?
Between 50 and 100.
What is the goal of this event?
In connection with the other 2012 festivities, including the International Year of Co-operatives and the International Summit of Cooperatives, the RESEAU would like to unite members of worker cooperatives from various countries to encourage meetings and to exchange expertise and experiences, thereby creating a true worker cooperative movement. Last year around the same time, the RESEAU and the partner federations created CICOPA-North America with the specific intent of promoting dialogue and exchanges between the various worker cooperatives in this region.
Who are the guest speakers?
- Bruno Roelants, Secretary General of the International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and Service Producers' Co-operatives (CICOPA)
- Rebecca Kemble, President of the Union Cab Cooperative in Madison, Wisconsin, and President of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives
- Luc Bisson, PhD, researcher, Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) on Territorial Development and Cooperation
- Bruno Blais, founder and CEO of the worker cooperative, La Barberie
What themes will be discussed?
One key question will be discussed: What are the main components of an optimal governance model for worker cooperatives? The discussion will be enhanced by the presentation of the results of a study conducted by the Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) on Territorial Development and Cooperation.
This discussion will take place on Monday, October 8, 2012, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at the Quebec City Convention Centre, in conjunction with the 2012 Summit program. Simultaneous interpretation (English-French) will be available.
- 12 p.m. – Welcome
- 1 p.m. – Discussion
- 3:30 p.m. – Event wrap-up
Information and registration:
Isabel Faubert Mailloux
+1-514-526-6267, ext. 29