The first International Summit of Cooperatives opened on Monday in Quebec, which is set to host almost 2,800 participants from 91 countries to discuss key business issues of cooperative model.
Under the theme "The Amazing Power of Cooperatives", the Summit will feature internationally renowned speakers, including several Nobel Prize winners and various personalities from politics and economics. This international event is held under the auspices of three co-hosted: Desjardins Group, the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and Saint Mary's University.
President and CEO of Desjardins Group, Monique F. Leroux believes that the Summit is an important opportunity for cooperatives worldwide. "The Summit is a unique opportunity for the development of partnerships between cooperative groups to better promote our business model," she says. "I firmly believe in the need to build an economy, which is based on both an efficient public sector on private sector (corporate) well regulated and cooperative sector hard."
The President of the International Co-operative Alliance, Dame Pauline Green, sees the Summit as a key moment to reaffirm the intent of the cooperative movement to bring growth to a higher level, building on the momentum from the International Year of Cooperatives. Said Dame Pauline: "I am very clear about this: from now on, we can not that moving forward with a renewed energy and momentum, and our role makes sense because we represent a solution in a world looking for a new economic paradigm. "
Dr Colin Dodds, President of the Saint Mary's University, host of the pre-Summit conference, Imagine, also hopes that the Summit creates the conditions necessary for new initiatives. "Reflection and action must supply the education sector has a major role to play in raising awareness of the economic and social contribution of the cooperative movement."
Over the next three days, the participants will discuss many issues affecting all sectors of economic activity. They will do this for the contribution of renowned speakers, among which are including:
- Ms. Madeleine K. Albright, former Secretary of State of the United States (1997-2001) and Chair of Albright Stoneridge Group
- A. Michael Spence, Nobel Laureate in Economics (2001)
- Jacques Attali, economist, writer and director of PlaNet Finance
- Ms. Rosabeth Moss Kanter, professor at Harvard Business School
- Mr. Dominic Barton, Global Managing Director, McKinsey & Company
- Mr. Carlo Borzaga, President Euricse
- Rüdiger Krech, director of industry Ethics, World Health Organization
- Dr. Huguette Labelle, Chair of the Board of Directors, Transparency International
- Peter Marks, Chief Executive, The Co-operative Group
- Riccardo Petrella, economist, political scientist and anti-globalization
- Michael Sabia, President and Chief Executive Officer, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
The Summit will also unveil new studies on the cooperative business model, on issues as diverse as productivity, organizational best practices or strategies for the development of the cooperative model in the world. These studies were carried out by national and international renown: McKinsey & Company, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Oliver Wyman, Ipsos / UQAM and Université de Sherbrooke.
The first day of the Summit will also set the tone of the event, with the participation of the economist, political scientist and world-renowned anti-globalization, Riccardo Petrella, who will speak at the opening conference. The Prime Minister of Quebec, Pauline Marois, the Federal Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable Denis Lebel, the mayor of Quebec City, Régis Labeaume, will be among the personalities during the opening ceremony.