Next week, delegates from across the world will gather in Quebec for the third edition of the International Summit of Cooperatives, under the theme ‘Cooperatives: The Power to Act’.
Around 3,000 people from over 90 countries will attend the event (11-13 October), held every two years to explore and develop thinking around business development in the co-operative and mutual community. It offers managers, decision-makers and leaders of co-operative and mutual enterprises of all sizes and in all sectors – as well as anyone in the world of business – a unique venue for reflection, discussion, co-operation and training on major current and future economic and financial issues.
The Summit aims to promote and foster the development of co-operative enterprises in all countries by demonstrating that co-ops are one answer to the major socio-economic issues of our time. The first edition, in 2012, explored ‘The Amazing Power of Cooperatives’ through concrete examples, innovative studies and internationally respected speakers. In 2014, the Summit showcased the unique ability of co-operatives to consistently adapt and innovate to meet members’ changing needs.
This year, delegates will hear and share how co-operatives can have significant impact at local, national and international levels, with a special focus on the strength they wield when it comes to helping to solve international issues. The programme will cover the new socio-economic and geopolitical realities around the world and address the challenges faced by co-operatives and mutuals in a constantly changing economy – as well as look at the business opportunities that will arise.
There is a real focus on action this year, with participants encouraged to identify activity that could provide solutions to the development issues listed by the United Nations.
The Summit will be organised into four main strands over three days: acknowledging global socioeconomic and geopolitical trends and challenges; increasing our capacity to act – adapting to the new business reality; expanding our economic power – sectoral challenges and business opportunities; and Cooperatives in Action – To Reach the New UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The Summit is hosted jointly by the International Co-operative Alliance and Desjardins Group. Desjardins is the leading co-operative financial group in Canada and the fifth-largest co-operative financial group in the world with assets of more than C$229bn. The International Co-operative Alliance is an independent, non-governmental organisation established in 1895 to unite, represent and serve co-operatives worldwide. It provides a global voice and forum for knowledge, expertise and coordinated action for and about co-operatives.