From the 10th to the 13th of November 2015, the cooperative movement came together in Antalya (Turkey) to discuss different topics and mainly the future of cooperatives, the main theme of this year’s global conference being “In 2020 what will your cooperative look like?”. The conference was a great opportunity for the different cooperatives all around the world and from different sectors to come together on the international level to assess what needs to be done in the future and share past reports to learn from them.
This conference was the first ever attended by the Young European Cooperative Network (YECN), it took its first steps on the international stage during the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) youth committee meeting presided by Gabriela Buffa. On November 10th, the purpose and aim of the network were explained to all by the different speakers and Sébastien Chaillou, president of the Scic (cooperative society of collective interest) Solidarité Etudiante, declared that “empowering young cooperators will lead to more innovation and more inclusiveness”. The youth came together to work on proposals for future changes.
On Wednesday November 11, CICOPA took center stage with the screening of the video “Working Together for a cooperative future” in front of 300 cooperators. The 15 minutes film shares the experiences, challenges and motivations of young cooperators from worker, social and producers’ cooperatives in Japan, Argentina, Italy, Spain, France, United States, Brazil, Poland, and South Africa. It was created collaboratively by CICOPA member organisations and the cooperatives that got involved in this project, from the filming to the editing process; 9 months of participative work that involved dozens of people from different countries. More information on the video launch here In the morning, Chaillou intervened at the round table and shared some concrete stories of cooperatives created and managed by young cooperators in France: « The world may be doing better as some say by I belong to the generation that has never known good employment rates and that is seeing the planet fall apart. It is really a question of changing our civilization and cooperatives are an important tool for that. The link between the choices needs to be offered to youth”.
On 12 November Bruno Roelants, Secretary General of CICOPA presented the study “Cooperatives and employment: a global report” at a round table where the discussion on worker cooperative ownership was the main focus. During the latter, President of the Japanese confederation of worker cooperatives underlined the employment capacity of those enterprises in Japan; 13,000 worker members in 2014. The debate was presided by the ILO coop representative Simel Esim and counted on the participation of the President of the Italian organization of cooperatives, Legacoop, who shared the latest figures on worker buyouts: “More than 300 companies and 1,242 jobs have been saved : 90 % have been able to upkeep their businesses”.
Several projects and studies were presented during the conference such as the guidance notes of cooperative principles that were drafted to give detailed guidance in the application of cooperative principles in coop enterprises. The notes are aimed to help cooperators run their cooperatives more effectively and efficiently and guide the upcoming generation. The 2015 world cooperative monitor project was also put forward; it is a multi-dimensional database that would report on the socio economic value and impact of cooperatives globally as well as on the national and regional levels.
On the last day of the global conference the elections for the new ICA president were held, Monique Leroux, from the Canadian financial group Desjardins, won, she will serve the remaining two years of Dame Pauline Green’s second term. The latter received the Rochdale award for her achievements and dedication to the cooperative movement. It has been announced that the next global conference in 2017 will be held in Malaysia.
On Saturday November 14th, the CICOPA general assembly was held, during the latter Manuel Mariscal was reelected president of CICOPA. He will be completing a second term after his first election in Cancun in 2012, read the full article here.
A research conference on “cooperatives and the world of work” was organized by the ICA and the ILO, before the global conference, from the 8th to the 10th of November. It had a prominent participation of representatives and researchers in the field of worker and social cooperatives, read the full article here.
International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and
Service Producers' Cooperatives
Secretariat: C/O European Cooperative House - avenue Milcamps 105
1030 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 543 1033, fax: +32 2 543 1037