On Friday November 2, 2012, on the final day of Co-operatives United I had an incredible experience. I know the International Year of Co-operatives has been an incredible gift for co-operatives and any time I see a publication or product with the IYC logo, or hear about a creative event that a co-operative has done to celebrate I am proud to know that fellow Canadian’s see value in being involved in the Year.
This past week has been the first time that I have travelled outside of Canada during IYC and all week as I have moved through Manchester Central (the Co-operatives United venue) I would see the IYC logo being used by co-operatives large and small from all around the world, and each time I see the logo I am touched knowing that we are all in this together. Yesterday morning I was in a communications session and Mary Lou Schaffer, Retail Co-op Experience Manager with The Co-operators was presenting on their “It’s in our name” campaign, part of which has included the fabulous commercial series using ‘the hyphen’ as a way to show Canadians how The Co-operators is a different type of insurance company and how the co-operative principles are rooted in their business. If you have not seen one of the ads, check this one out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNlLEwvbXzg
During the Q&A period someone from Wales made a comment about how they really liked the commercial series and loved how the hyphen had been emphasized as a link and a point of connection to illustrate the significance of co-operatives. To this comment he added that he now understood why ‘the Canadian’s had made the effort they did to create an English version of the IYC logo where co-operative is hyphenated’. I am in no way trying to brag but I could not help but smile and know that in some small way I had just received the greatest complement and a decision that seemed relatively simple at the time has had a significant impact.
It’s all in the hyphen and this week I have seen the incredible role that Canadian’s have played in the International Year of Co-operatives. That makes me one very proud co-operator!