As the ICA team return home to the Global Office and its four Regional Offices it’s time to reflect on a fabulous week at Co-operatives United. It has really been a wonderful way to celebrate the co-operative community’s culmination to the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives with over 10,000 co-operators from around 90 countries around the world all meeting in Manchester and Rochdale – the birthplace of the modern co-operative movement and the World Capital of Co-operatives.
Our hosts the Co-operative Group and Co-operatives UK pulled out all the stops to ensure that Co-operatives United was a fitting finale for the IYC, with something for every generation, ever sector and interest – they showed the way on how to live, work and act co-operatively. And the team at Co-operative Press and the Global News Hub worked with international communicators to deliver Co-operatives United Interactive to a truly global audience with the virtual forum.
There were so many highlights for me: from Roberto Morban Ramirez breaking out into his winning song at the Coop’Art Press conference, to Co-operative Group CEO Peter Marks and his band, Angel Square, rocking and rolling with co-operators from many nations (particularly our Canadian friends) on the dance floor at the International Dinner; to Roberto Rodrigues accepting the Rochdale Pioneers’ Award – a true co-operator and his suggestion that the movement should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Co-operatives United was not just about celebration of the UN International Year it was also the opportunity to launch our Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade. It’s our time to galvanize behind the co-operative identity as the ICA reveals in the World Co-operative Monitor that the largest 300 co-operatives have annual revenues of USD 2 trillion and the Blueprint aims to take co-operatives to a position of being the preferred model by people worldwide. This is our opportunity for all sectors and members of the co-operative movement to not only rally behind the co-operative decade but to pick up the strategy and develop its own campaigns to further that strategy.
ICMIF’s CEO Shaun Tarbuck was spot on when he asked where the mainstream media were during the week in the Big Debate. We had much to shout about, and one lesson co-operators can take away from this Year is that we must all shout louder about co-operatives. This is what the Blueprint, and initiatives such as stories.coop and the Global News Hub are promoting. Let’s not waste our International Year.
Pictured Charles Gould – Director-General, ICA and Dame Pauline Green – President, ICA
In this article
- British co-operative movement
- Business models
- Co-operatives UK
- Consumer cooperative
- Cooperative principles
- Greater Manchester
- Pauline Green
- Person Career
- Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers
- Social Issues
- Statement on the Co-operative Identity
- The Co-operative Group
- World Capital