Registration opens for ICA Global Conference and General Assembly

Delegates will explore how co-operatives in create a collective, peaceful and prosperous future for all

In November 2024, India will host the ICA’s Global Cooperative Conference – the world’s largest gathering of co-operators from around the world. Delegates will explore the role of co-operatives in creating a collective, peaceful and prosperous future for all – and kick-off the 2025 International Year of Cooperatives.

The conference takes place on 25-30 November 2024 at the Bharat Mandapam, New Delhi, India, and will include inspirational speakers and provocative panel debates, with delegates invited to co-create co-operative visions and strategies during multiple break-out sessions.

The theme is Cooperatives Build Prosperity for All, which, says the ICA, “celebrates co-operatives as people-centred, purpose-led and progress-driven enterprises”.

“[The theme] is inspired by the value co-operatives have been proven to add to their communities and by the international co-operation among co-operatives despite challenges such as war, economic hard times and natural disasters” – and has four elements: enabling policy and entrepreneurial ecosystems; reaffirming co-operative identity; nurturing purposeful leadership; and shaping a just, equal and resilient future.

Organised by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), the conference will be hosted by the Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative (IFFCO) and the 18 ICA member organisations in India, who together represent close to 800,000 co-operatives and 290 million co-operators. New Delhi itself is home to the headquarters of the ICA’s Asia Pacific office.

“The ICA Global Conference brings people together, regardless of age, race, gender, culture or nationality,” said Jeroen Douglas, ICA director-general. “It’s not just about speakers and leaders, but about co-operators from across the movement finding comfort and exchange with each other. It’s about celebrating the global success of the movement, cherishing our history and building together a better future.

“Alongside the conference, the General Assembly has all of the above components, yet is a more formal setting where the global members of the ICA meet according to articles of association to approve financial statements and strategy. The GA is held every year, sometimes twice, once in person, and is also a great opportunity to gather with fellow members.”

November is a busy time in New Delhi, so the ICA is urging delegates to book travel and accommodation as soon as they can following registration and/or visa confirmation. An invite will be sent to registered participants, which can be submitted with a request for a conference visa where necessary.

The ICA has also revealed the logo to be used at the conference, which combines peacock feathers and Lotus Temple elements to represent India, co-operatives and the conference theme.

The peacock is a special symbol in India, associated with the goddess of prosperity and good fortune. This aligns with the goals of co-operatives, says the ICA, “which focus on creating shared economic prosperity for our members – and so the shape and colours of peacock feathers form an outer circle around an inner lotus temple”.

The Lotus Temple is “a globally recognised architectural marvel known for its innovative design and use of materials,” which represents Delhi and India more widely.

“India awaits us with open arms,” said ICA president, Ariel Guarco.

“We will enjoy commercial, institutional and fraternal exchanges, we will visit co-operatives and exhibitions, and we will advance in advocacy towards governments and international organisations. And we will address key topics to continue increasing interco-operative links between all the regions and sectors in the world that make up our great co-operative family.

“For 200 years, our principles and values ​​have guided this unique enterprise model and positioned it today as the most direct vehicle towards a sustainable future. We look forward to strengthening the prominence of our movement worldwide.”