The presence of renowned guest speaker Madeleine K. Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State, delighted those present at the highly-anticipated lunch conference offered by PwC. This is just one of the high-profile and remarkable events that make up the 2012 International Summit of Cooperatives.
Right from the outset, Ms. Albright reiterated her conviction that the cooperative model will play an increasingly concrete and decisive role in the fight against hunger and poverty, as well as in gender equality, community empowerment and upholding values during the economic and financial crisis that is sweeping the globe. She went on to say that she has great doubts about the ability of governments, large corporations and global institutions to effectively address the issues of today.
She feels that the strengths of the cooperative movement will contribute to building a better world: high-quality goods and services, members committed to the movement, and democratic values that defend the well-being of members and of the community as a whole.
To put this contribution to work effectively, cooperatives will have to make room for a greater number of women in high-level management positions and as cooperative owners. She added that society shows better economic and financial stability when more women actively participate in the decision-making process.
Ms. Albright believes now more than ever in the importance of creating a new economic model of international cooperation, one that allows everyone to be involved. She concluded the lunch conference by affirming that we must put aside our individual values and work together.