Co-operatives United: A Blueprint for the next decade of Co-operation

Co-operators in Manchester will help shape the next decade of co-operation during Co-operatives United.

Co-operators in Manchester will help shape the next decade of co-operation during Co-operatives United.

As the International Year of Co-operatives draws to a close, co-operators from all over the world will debate the blueprint of the Co-operative Decade, which will be decided during the International Co-operative Alliance’s Extraordinary General Assembly on October 31.

Several events will take place across the conference that will build on the theme of the Co-operative Decade including the Co-operative Congress that will focus on growing the co-operative economy and the Gender Forum that will look at how co-operatives can address gender imbalance in the business world.

Each event will shine a light on important issues in the global co-operative movement from gender imbalance to Fairtrade.

Co-operatives United will feature keynote speakers from all corners of the globe from the USA, to Norway.

These will include: José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO); Agnes Bolsø, Associate Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Kristen Christian, the founder of Bank Transfer Day in the United States, which mobilised hundreds of thousands Americans to move their money to credit unions.

Also Monique Leroux, Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins, will address delegates in a special session during the UK's premier event for co-operatives, Co-operative Congress. Carlo Borzaga, President of the European research network Euricse, will also be looking at international case studies of co-operative business performance and how these successes can be replicated elsewhere.

On the Co-operative Decade, Chuck Gould, Director-General of the International Co-operative Alliance, said: “The ICA is committed to turning the International Year of Co-operatives into A Co-operative Decade, with the goal of the co-operative being the fastest-growing model of enterprise by 2020.

“We hope to welcome 10,000 co-operators to Manchester and intend to leave with a Blueprint for the Co-operative Decade!”

A preliminary draft blueprint will be circulated widely in a process managed thorough the ICA’s 2020 vision planning work group in early October.

Feedback from regions and sectors will be discussed at the ICA Leadership forum, before agreeing on the final draft, which will be submitted to the ICA General Assembly for consideration and approval on Wednesday 31 October.

Co-operatives United will be one the biggest events in co-operative history and through this blueprint will pave the way for the next decade of co-operation.

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