In the final address to Co-operative Congress 2013, the President of the International Co-operative Alliance spoke of the impact of the International Year of Co-operatives and the ICA’s vision for the future.
Dame Pauline Green said she was honoured to sit on the Welsh Co-operative and Mutuals Commission, a project she described as “groundbreaking”. “I hope the report is really going to have a significant impact here,” she told the Congress in Cardiff.
Looking back at 2012, the UN International Year of Co-operatives, she asked: “What has the year done for us? Across the world there’s a hugely increased sense of cohesion. It’s also led to a huge increase in our external confidence. We’re very good at looking inwards. People are feeling much more confident to talk outwards.
“Momentum is with us,” she said, adding, “co-operative banks globally have grown.”
Dame Pauline gave examples from around the world as she illustrated the Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade, the ICA’s plan to make co-operative business the acknowledged leader in economic, social and environmental sustainability, the model preferred by people and the fastest growing form of enterprise by 2020.
The Blueprint covers participation, sustainability, legal frameworks, capital and identity, she explained. As part of the ICA’s drive to improve visibility and cement the co-operative identity, it will launch an international co-operative marque in the coming months, she told delegates.
“Ed [Mayo] chairs the ICA communication group and they have been working on a co-operative identifier,” she said. “It will be a small logo that will sit on products and packaging. It’s been developed by Calverts to build the co-operative message and secure the co-operative identity.
“It will be launched formally in Cape Town, but there will be soft launches before then.”
• The ICA's Global Conference and General Assembly will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, during the week of 1-5 November. To book your place, visit: www.capetown2013.coop