Charles Gould,Director-General of the International Co-operative Alliance, explains how co-operatives will take co-operation to the next level with the ‘Blueprint of the Co-operative Decade’.
The General Assembly of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) 2012 at Co-operatives United will mark the culmination of the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives, but subject to the approval of the General Assembly, it will also mark the beginning of a world-wide campaign to take the co-operative way of doing business to a new level. The ambitious plan is our ‘Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade’.
The ‘2020 Challenge’ is for the co-operative form of business by 2020 to become:
— The acknowledged leader in economic, social and environmental sustainability
— And therefore the model preferred by people
— And as a result of that, to become the fastest growing form of enterprise
Throughout 2012 co-operators from across the world and in all sectors have had the opportunity to contribute their experiences to this vision through a range of events supported by the International Co-operative Alliance, including ‘Promoting the Understanding of Co-operatives for a Better World (Venice) – March 2012, ‘The World of Rural Co-operation’ (Ireland) – September 2012, ‘Imagine 2012’ and ‘International Summit of Co-operatives’ (Quebec City) – October 2012.
The International Year of Co-operatives has provided a powerful focal point for our movement. It has heightened its sense of shared purpose, illustrated by the range of activities and celebrations of the International Year, as well as the take-up of the 2012 International Year logo. It has raised the profile of co-operatives beyond the limits of the movement itself, in civil society and amongst governmental and inter-governmental bodies, including recognition in the Rio+20 Treaty. The Blueprint will build on that momentum to turn the International Year of Co-operatives into the beginning of a Co-operative Decade.