Nine more names from eight countries have been announced for the ICA World Cooperative Congress in December. The global hybrid event, which will be held online and in Seoul, Republic of Korea, will feature cooperative professionals, specialists and activists, who will take part in sessions on ‘Examining’, ‘Strengthening’, ‘Committing to’ and ‘Living’ our Cooperative Identity.

Joining one of the Examining our Cooperative Identity sessions is Ben Reid (ICA Director and former CEO at Midcounties Co-operative, one of the UK’s largest independent cooperatives) who will facilitate a conversation on how cooperative identity can be examined Through a Strong Cooperative Brand (session 1.1). In a parallel session, Maria Eugenia Pérez Zea, Executive Director of the Colombian Association of Cooperatives (ASCOOP) and Chair of the International Cooperative Alliance’s Gender Equality Committee. will coordinate a parallel session on inclusive governance (session 1.2)

Dr Saji Gopinath will facilitate a session on how the Cooperative Identity can be strengthened by Taking Advantage of the Digital Age (session 2.1). Dr Gopinath is Vice-Chancellor of Kerala University of Digital Sciences, Innovation and Technology and leads several digital transformation initiatives in India. Joining him as panellists are Louis Cousin, a Canadian researcher and consultant in cooperative digital innovation, and Bitange Ndemo, Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Nairobi’s Business School and an open data/big data evangelist who is dedicated to the simplification (visualization) of data for ordinary citizens.


Also announced are a number of co-ordinators, who will be organising the sessions and will be reporting back to delegates at a round table. These include:

Elizabeth Salazar, an international development practitioner and gender advisor, currently acting as Technical Specialist for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment at the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA). 

Balasubramanian ‘Balu’ Iyer, the ICA’s Asia-Pacific’s Regional Director who is also on the Steering Committee for the World Cooperative Monitor.

Ander Etxeberria Otadui, who has been head of Mondragon’s cooperative outreach programme for the last five years and also lectures in universities and other fora around the world.

Marc Noël, the ICA’s International Development Director, coordinating the #coops4dev Partnership with the European Commission. 

More participants will be announced soon… WATCH THIS SPACE!

Explore all the different themes and sessions in the Congress Programme HERE!