2014 international summit of cooperatives program unveiled

Current topics and vital issues!

QUEBEC CITY, Oct. 23, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The 2014 International Summit of Cooperatives just unveiled a diverse and relevant program. From October 6 to 9, presentations, forums, and round tables will allow participants from around the world to discuss subjects that speak to cooperatives and mutuals of the 21st century.

"The themes for this second edition of the Summit were selected to promote the strengthening of cooperative businesses while addressing major global challenges. The Summit is thus continuing its mission to identify the main business issues facing cooperative businesses and mutuals and provide them with solutions to encourage their development and improve their performance," said Monique F. Leroux, president and CEO of Desjardins Group, the Summit co-host. "We wish once again to ensure that the benefits of the cooperative model are promoted worldwide," continued Dame Pauline Green, president of the International Co-operative Alliance, also the Summit co-host.

Under the theme "Cooperatives' Power of Innovation," the program will promote discussion between leaders of cooperatives and mutuals, leaders of non-cooperative businesses, experts, leading international authorities, political leaders, and representatives of international organizations.

Areas where cooperatives can make a difference:

View the Summit video

  • Food security
  • Health and social care services
  • Employment
  • Financing and capitalization
  • Developing cooperative and mutual businesses

Food security
Feeding 9 billion people by 2050 is a challenge for all humanity, especially when the options for expanding agricultural space are limited. The Summit will address these issues from various angles, including boosting productivity, strengthening competitive advantages, securing the supply chain, and reducing speculation. Over 35% of cooperatives worldwide are in the agricultural and agrifood sector. They sustain the livelihoods of one out of every two people.

Health and social care services
As the world's population grows and ages, the challenge of providing a wide range of health and social care services becomes even greater. This sector will be the biggest market in the 21st century. It is not merely a challenge that rallies cooperatives, but also an issue where cooperatives and mutuals can certainly provide answers.

For the first time in history, economic recovery is creating very few jobs. Nearly 200 million people are unemployed. Nearly half of them are young—"the sacrificed generation."

The economic crisis has left deep scars in many countries. It has affected the ability of businesses to provide people with the jobs they need to ensure their financial security. The unemployment rate in some countries is at an all-time high. At the same time, emerging countries appear to be doing better and even seeing economic growth. Here too, cooperatives are making a difference: a number of sectors are demonstrating stability and have even created jobs.

Financing and capitalization
In a context of new regulations and market turmoil, financing and capitalization are a major ongoing issue for cooperatives and mutuals. Financial cooperatives face regulations that limit their ability to finance projects. However, some have experimented with various innovative and promising financing and capitalization tools, which will be shared at the Summit.

Developing cooperative and mutual businesses
Cooperative and mutual businesses operate as part of the real economy. The 2012 Summit and the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade raised important concerns for cooperatives and mutuals. The nature of their model compels them to be more innovative to achieve their business objectives while maintaining their values. The Summit will provide managers with tools to foster the growth and sustainability of their businesses. Topics will include increasing membership, educating people about the cooperative business model, the development of markets, strategic risk management, and business development in emerging and developing countries, which are sure to generate considerable interest among leaders of cooperatives and mutuals.

Call for papers
Researchers interested in cooperatives and mutuals are invited to submit their proposals for scientific articles related to the Summit's main themes. Selected articles will be collected and published during the event. The authors of selected articles will also be invited to present their results to participants.

About the 2014 International Summit of Cooperatives
Decision makers and influencers from the international cooperative and mutualist community will gather in Quebec City, Canada, from October 6 to 9 for the 2014 International Summit of Cooperatives. The Summit's bold, ambitious themes will garner the attention and interest of cooperatives from around the globe as well as world leaders and politicians.

SOURCE: 2014 International Summit of Cooperatives

For further information:

(for journalists only):
Nathalie Genest
Press Relations
International Summit of Cooperatives
+ 1-514-281-7275 | 1-866-866-7000, ext. 7275

Jan Schiettecatte
Director of Communications
International Co-operative Alliance
+ 32 2 285 00 76

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2014 International Summit of Cooperatives

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