Throwback to ICA’s Global Youth Forum 2020: Cooperative youth is already the present

27 July 2020

More than a 100 young cooperators and practitioners from around the world gathered in Kuching, Malaysia from the 3rd to the 7th of February 2020 to take part in training on youth cooperative entrepreneurship.

With tens of training sessions, lectures and plenary discussion, the Global Youth Forum of the International Cooperative Alliance (GYF20) was a remarkable opportunity to raise the visibility of the cooperative model towards young people and propose training on how to run a business and what skills to develop to do so effectively.

Under the guidance of more than 30 trainers, participants were able to dedicate 4 full days in Kuching to learning, networking with others, and visiting a Malaysian cooperative school.

Moreover, organized jointly by the ICA Development Team and the Malaysian APEX Angkhasa, the conference was attended by ICA President Ariel Guarco and several ministers and dignitaries of the Malaysian government.

In terms of political outcome, a youth agenda for advocacy was adopted to raise awareness on youth’s needs in the cooperative movement and beyond: the declaration ambitiously calls for the development of just societies and the increase the presence of cooperative curricula at all levels of education.

The GYF20 conference website has now turned into a resource place where all multimedia material from the training sessions can be found. The collection is a very rich one where cooperators, practitioners, federations, and young people in general can find inspiration and ideas to develop their project, get acquainted with cooperativism, and raise awareness on cooperative entrepreneurship.

As youth issues and youth cooperative entrepreneurship have always been priority topics for us, CICOPA praised the GYF20 initiative since the early stages. CICOPA’s Advocacy Coordinator Mila Shamku took part in the event as a trainer on the topic of worker ownership with a session titles “Worker Ownership for Youth Emancipation” where the 2018 CICOPA Global Study on Cooperative Youth Entrepreneurship was presented.

Most importantly though, and amongst countless valuable presentations, several trainers from CICOPA membership proposed trainings on worker cooperatives’ management, democratic governance, platform cooperatives, etc.

Here are listed some of the trainings by trainers involved in worker cooperatives:

  • CICOPA Board Member Sion Whellens – a workshop on democratic governance;
  • Francesca Martinelli (Doc Servizi, Legacoop Italy) – workshop on platform cooperatives;
  • Salonie Hiriyur (SEWA, India) – a workshop on democratic governance
  • Neto Licursi (Argentinian Federation of Tech Worker Coops ‘FACTTIC’, CNCT, Argentina) – workshop on innovation

CICOPA strongly encourages everyone to use the GYF20 material collection as a resource mine for constantly improving knowledge within the movement and find inspiration.

Additionally, the ICA Youth Network, led by Sébastien Chaillou, launched a brand new call for projects aiming at financing new cooperative initiatives launched by and thought for young people across the world. Regardless of their membership affiliation to ICA or not, youngsters from any country can apply to win up to 10.000 EUR to finance the launch of their cooperative project. Subsequently, ICA member organisations can step forward and offer mentorship to the awardees.