On September 22nd and 23rd was held the second meeting of the Young European Cooperators network (YECN) in Italy, only 5 months after the first one hosted in Paris during which it was created and launched. The delegations, from 12 different European countries, worked and exchanged ideas, alongside 50 Italian collaborators, on topics such as the democratic governance, the training and promoting of cooperatives, business opportunities and the state of the network.
This meeting was hosted by Generazioni Legacoop, an organization that coordinates the work of youth, under 40 years old, in cooperatives of Legacoop and OOP! Confcooperative, the network of young entrepreneurs of the Italian Confederation of cooperatives, Confcooperative. Chiara Bertelli, declared that “Generazioni was the first network of young co-operators in Europe.
We believed that, after reaching a national dimension, with now 15 regional organizations, it was right to look beyond Italian borders and put our experience at the service of the colleagues in the rest of Europe.” In that spirit, different collective and participatory workshop were established to assess the main objectives for the network, the following were ‘promoting cooperative entrepreneurship among young people’, ‘encouraging youth representation on the Board of cooperative businesses and institutions’ and ‘broadening business opportunities for youth-led start-up cooperatives’.
For now the YECN is working on setting up a democratic structure, with open and participatory working groups. As the ICA’s conference in Antalya, Turkey approaches the young co-operators present at the event will meet to discuss the challenges that await them, as future cooperative leaders during a breakout session called ‘Future cooperative leaders’. It was proposed for the next meeting of the young cooperators to meet at Mondragon (Spain).