In an impassioned speech made at the Co-operatives United event in Manchester, England, Dame Pauline Green encouraged delegates to “act as the voice of the one billion members of cooperators from across the world.” Tipping her hat to the International Year of Cooperatives, Dame Pauline celebrated the tremendous momentum built over this past year. “This UN IYC has been a fabulous year, as I visited the movement across the world, I can’t help being struck by the impact…Never before in its history has the Cooperative Movement globally come together around a single logo and slogan, we have never been as cohesive as we are now.”
Acknowledging the impending end of the International Year of Cooperatives, Dame Pauline insisted that “…we must not allow that momentum to be lost.” Instead of just shaking hands and agreeing that we’ve had a great year, she suggested that the global cooperative community needs to look for ways to maintain and grow that momentum.
With that in mind, the International Co-operative Alliance outlined on the same day an ambitious strategy to make cooperatives the fastest growing business model by the end of the decade. In referencing the new Blueprint for a Cooperative Decade, ICA’s director-general Charles Gould explained, “We want to see cooperatives rise to the top of global business as the fastest growing business model by 2020…Actors on the global economic stage are seeking answers to pressing financial and social problems and this model provides many of the solutions they seek.”