Plans for the International Year of Cooperatives 2012 (as highlighted in Voice 71) are developing quickly, as the clock ticks down to the official opening launch event at the UN headquarters in New York on October 31, shortly after the close of the ICMIF Biennial Conference in Manchester (October 26 – 28).
The official logo for the year and the accompanying slogan “Cooperative enterprises build a better world” were launched by the United Nations in early 2011, and the artwork (in several languages) is available to cooperatives for downloading from the UN’s web site at http://social.un.org/coopsyear/index.html
The UN is working closely with the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) on the arrangements for the year and the ICA has also set up a dedicated web site, www.2012.coop ICA Director General Chuck Gould has called on cooperative businesses across the world to promote the year by including the logo and slogan on their promotional and marketing material. The ICA will be celebrating its own launch of the IYC at its General Assembly, which is taking place this year in Cancún, Mexico, from November 14 -18.
The ICMIF secretariat is working closely with the ICA to help ensure that the potential for the IYC is fully realised. Pauline Green, President of the ICA, has been invited to address delegates at the ICMIF Conference in Manchester in October and recently visited ICMIF’s head office in the UK and recorded a message for all cooperatives in this important year.
“The International Year of Cooperatives is a critical opportunity for us to launch the next generation of cooperative growth… Our added visibility will add to the influence we have on key decision-makers across the world,” says Pauline. She goes on to say “Cooperatives are able to compete on an equal basis with some of the biggest companies in the world, but our ethos is much more about servicing human need not human greed.”