“It is increasingly clear that the cooperative identity and the structure of cooperative enterprises are relevant, unique, and identifiable. A cooperative can be different things to different people, but the ICA’s Statement of Cooperative Identity unifies a diverse group of cooperative enterprises within a very diverse movement and helps distinguish cooperative enterprises from other enterprises.”
What is in the programme? Where can I find out more?
The final details of the programme are being confirmed, but there is lots of information on the website ready to explore! Here you can find out more about the World Cooperative Congress – including speakers and the main themes of the event, as well as news and updates about the event.
An interview with Sung-hee Lee, chairman of the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation and president of the International Cooperative Association.
The National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (NACF, or NongHyup) in Korea, is one of the co-organisers of the World Cooperative Congress. Established in 1961, it is the apex organisation for the 1,118 multifunctional cooperatives, representing over 2 million member farmers in Korea. We spoke with Sung-hee Lee, chairman of the NACF and president of the International Cooperative Agricultural Organisation (ICAO, a sectoral body of the ICA) to hear his thoughts on what the Congress means to the country, and what the cooperative identity means to Korean cooperators.
Over the last year the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) asked cooperative researchers and practitioners around the world to submit ideas for panels and discussions on the cooperative identity for the ICA Cooperative Research Conference and the 3rd International Forum on Cooperative Law (28-30 November 2021 in Seoul, the Republic of Korea).
A total of 225 proposals were received from around 50 countries; signaling the importance to have meaningful conversations in 2021 about what it means to be a cooperative.
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT? All ICA members, ICA bodies, academic institutions and other organisations linked to the cooperative movement and who care about the cooperative business model are encouraged to host events or initiatives under the banner “Towards the World Cooperative Congress” as we move to prepare for the 33rd ICA World Cooperative Congress. Focusing …
Key lessons on leadership from the 25 Voices initiative were presented at last month’s Global Youth Forum, hosted online by #Coops4Dev. The initiative was launched in early 2021 to promote the World Cooperative Congress. Three members of 25 Voices formed the “It’s Now and Forever” panel and called for “cross-generational and inclusive” leadership and urged the cooperative movement to remove barriers between younger and older members.
ICA Asia and Pacific
COVID-19 has highlighted the perils of valuing short-term gains over longer-term viability. This has accentuated the pitfalls of relying on market-oriented models which increase inequality and translate into lower levels of ‘social capital’ and wellbeing. It has also brought to the fore the importance of the ‘real’ economy (which generates goods and services) and the role of cooperatives within this.
A new international cooperative entrepreneurship competition for 16-24-year-olds has been launched. Called the Mondragón City Challenge after the sponsoring town in the Basque region of Spain, it is aimed at developing business management skills in secondary school, vocational training and university students across the world.
“Cooperatives are a model that enfranchises people regardless of gender, race, ethnicity and religion. Since they began, co-ops have empowered women around the world. Co-ops gave women the right to vote 100 years before the earliest western democracies.”
Located just off the southern shores of the Republic of Korea, Jeju Island is home to over 3,000 female divers, or Haenyeo, who dive 10 meters under the sea without any breathing equipment. Today, there are 3,613 Haenyeo, and they share their harvests equitably with each other. They are all members of fishing cooperatives on the island, represented by the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives, which has 154, 870 members nationwide.