International Year of Cooperatives: It’s our time

The International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) is a long established and unique global trade association representing cooperative and mutual insurers from around the world. ICMIF aims...

The International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) is a long established and unique global trade association representing cooperative and mutual insurers from around the world. ICMIF aims to promote and work with the sector globally by being a leader in providing information and services to members, and representing the interests of, the global cooperative and mutual insurance sector.

Working together with the members in this way underpins the Federation’s commitment to providing “a global reach for local strength”.

To promote the unique identity of mutual/cooperative insurers, ICMIF works closely with many other professional organisations around the world. One of the organisations is the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), under whose auspices ICMIF was founded in 1922, and who we will be working with closely during the International Year of Cooperatives in 2012. As Dame Pauline Green said during the recent ICMIF Biennial Conference, Manchester, UK, the UN International Year of Cooperatives is a “once in a lifetime gift from the UN”. Everyone at ICMIF is looking forward to the challenges and rewards that the many events and initiatives will bring to this special year for cooperatives and to raise the global visibility of the cooperative model of business.

Looking back over 2011 the highlight of the year for ICMIF was without doubt the Biennial Conference. This tremendous event brought together specialist speakers and panellists and over 250 delegates from 90 member organisations around the world. The conference slogan was “It’s Our Time” and the conference itself and all those who took part were proof of this.

The speakers brought to life how the leading organizations of the future are those whose brand appeals to the general public; brands that can capture people’s emotions as we move into an age of reference, where emotions, service and advocacy matter more than price and where values-based strategies will dominate.

Speakers talked about brands with conviction; ones that ‘do good by doing right’; with values-based strategies that improve the quality of peoples lives. This can only be achieved by creating the right culture; a culture of delivery, of service, of member engagement, of excellence, putting people before profits and becoming a social enterprise of distinction.

As one conference speaker put it we are at ‘the new golden age of mutuality’ and all our delegates gathered together in Manchester certainly went away from the Conference feeling motivated and inspired to ensure that it really is ‘Our Time’.

We hope that 2012 will continue to be “Our Time” and in particular a time to celebrate cooperative values and cooperation amongst members of ICMIF, the ICA and other organisations who will be celebrating the International Year of Cooperatives. Everyone at ICMIF would like to extend our very best wishes to all cooperative and mutual organisations for the year ahead and wish everyone a happy and healthy new year. 

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