By any measure, the International Summit of Co-operatives convened in Québec City, Canada earlier this month was a fantastic success. Over 3000 co-operators from all parts of the world connected, heard presentations of cutting edge studies from leading consulting firms and researchers, and reinforced their commitment to co-operative principles.
When the first Summit was held in Québec in 2012, it was precipitated by the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives, and there was no assurance that it would be other than a one-off event. The success of that first Summit, however, inspired in its vision to be the Davos of co-operatives, assured that a second would follow. There will likely now be a third in two years.
The International Co-operative Alliance, the co-host of the Summit, along with the Desjardins Group, used the opportunity to unveil the latest edition of the World Co-operative Monitor. The Monitor has become the standard in financial reporting on the co-operative sector. Produced by the Alliance and Euricse, the European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprise, it identifies the leading co-operatives, by turnover, globally and by business sector. It can be found on the Alliance website, www.ica.coop. The call for data for the 2015 report has now opened. Please access it from our web site and provide your organisation’s information.
An additional ground-breaking co-operative report, on jobs, was also released at the Summit. Produced by CICOPA, the Alliance’s sectoral organisation for industrial and service co-operatives, it estimates that 250 million people are involved in full- or part-time work in co-operatives: 15 million as employees; 10 million as worker-members; and 225 million producers, such as farmers, who organise within co-operatives. It is an essential study that more reliably develops figures far in excess of earlier estimates.
Apart from these ‘co-operative’ reports, the Summit presented several significant studies by well-known consulting firms: Bain, Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey, Corporate Knights to name a few. The Alliance will now be scouring these reports to identify the most important findings and to determine how best to build on this work to advance the goals of the Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade. We anticipate further work in a number of the areas of the reports at our next global conference — the Alliance General Assembly in Antalya, Turkey, 10–13 November 2015.
I hope to see you there!