CIRIEC Spain conference marks the International Year of Co-operatives

A two-day conference marking the International Year of Co-operatives will bring together academics, politicians and professionals from across Spain.

A two-day conference marking the International Year of Co-operatives will bring together academics, politicians and professionals from across Spain.

Delegates will exchange ideas on issues such as government intervention in economic matters, regional plans, public enterprises, cooperatives, mutual societies and other forms of social economy.

The XIV Conference of Researchers in Social and Cooperative Economy will be held this year in San Sebastian and Oñati, Spain, between 20 and 22 June. The event is organised by International Centre of Research and Information on the Public and Cooperative Economy (CIRIEC) Spain, with the support of three Basque universities: the University of the Basque Country, the University of Deusto and the University of Mondragon.

The topic of the conference is ‘Challenges and proposals of the social economy in a changing world’. The list of communication proposals is now available (PDF).

"The philosophy of CIRIEC is to gather within the same association industry experts and academic sector representatives to conduct joint research to increase the visibility and awareness of the sector itself," said Jose Juan Cabezuelo, head press CIRIEC-Spain.

The deadline for communication proposals was April 30 and the number of communication proposals received is close to 200. The conference will be structured into seven general workshops and 14 topical workshops.

'The record of participation confirms the growing interest from academcs in the activities of the cooperative and social economy, which is also great news," said Jose Juan Cabezuelo.

General workshops will focus on issues such as accounting reforms skilled communications and new financial instruments in the cooperative legislation, cooperatives and systemic crisis, cooperative values and cooperatives, social economy and other forms of enterprise. Topics selected for the thematic workshops also include the challenges of agri-food cooperatives in the current context of economic change.

There will be prizes for participants. Two awards will go to the best two theses on social economic issues published within the past five years. Another two awards will be given for the best papers presented at the symposium by young researchers under the age of 35.

The XIV Conference of Researchers is run with the help of Basque associations representing the social economic sector and under the sponsorship of the Basque Government.

Among those invited at the conference fugure names such as Fatima Banez, the Minister for Employment and Social Security of the Government of Spain, Patxi Lopez, the Basque Government lehendakari, Juan Antonio Pedreño, president of CEPES, the Spanish Confederation of Social Economy Enterprises, and the presidents of the three Basque universities: University of the Basque Country, University of Deusto and University of Mondragon.

CIRIEC-Spain is an international non-governmental scientific organization and was formed in 1986. It is a full member of CIRIEC International, created in 1947 with headquarters at the University of Liege in Belgium. CIRIEC-International currently has divisions in 16 countries: Germany, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey and Venezuela. The Spanish headquarters CIRIEC-Spain is at the University of Valencia.

The conference of researchers CIRIEC-Spain established itself as a forum for debate in the social economy sector. The last conference took place in Zaragoza in October 2011 and gathered more than 160 participants.

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