A week of co-operative conferences and meetings in Quebec has been launched at a press conference this evening.
Imagine 2012, the international conference on co-operative economics, is the pre-event to the 2012 International Summit of Cooperatives, which launches on Monday evening.
Dame Pauline Green, President of the International Co-operative Alliance, opened the event’s press conference at the Convention Centre, Quebec City.
Dame Pauline said: “This is the beginning of a very exciting week. I am delighted to be taking part in the opening of Imagine. In this International Year there has never been a greater need for an emphasis on the co-operative model. It’s critical we get this message out. It's a moment of great opportunity for this movement of ours.
“This is going to be a great week, we are going to make a difference this week. We need to get the big message out, we're about the real economy when the big banks and others have failed them.”
Organised by St Mary's University, which runs the Master of Management Co-operatives and Credit Unions program, the two-day conference has an agenda of academic papers and discussion.
Imagine Manager and St Mary's Program Manager Tom Webb said: “Co-ops are uniquely placed to meet human need. We are here to look at the economy from a co-operative perspective. “Over next couple of days that's what we are going to do. I Hope it'll be thought provoking and hopefully people will have a lot of questions as well as answers at the end.”
The institution's President Colin Dodds said at the press conference that he wants delegates to share ideas and discuss best practice. He added that delegates should think that “we don't just live in an interesting, but dangerous world. In that sense co-ops have a lot to offer.”