Official Opening of the Third International Summit of Cooperatives

A Unique Gathering Around Cooperatives' Power to Act

QUEBEC CITY, Oct. 11, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The opening ceremony for the third edition of the International Summit of Cooperatives, an initiative of the International Co-operative Alliance and Desjardins Group, is taking place today at the Québec City Convention Centre. The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development of Canada, Federal MP for Louis-Hébert Joël Lightbound, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume, and Summit Co-hosts Monique F. Leroux, President of the International Co-operative Alliance and Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins Group are attending.

This ceremony marks the start of the biggest global gathering of cooperatives and mutuals, which, from October 11 to 13, will bring together 235 highly respected speakers and 2,950 participants from 116 countries to talk about "cooperatives' power to act", and to identify new approaches to sustainable economic development.

"Canada is leading the way, with around 10,000 cooperatives and mutuals in various industry sectors. The Summit will raise awareness about the power of cooperatives to act and the substantial local, national and international benefits they generate. This will also be an opportunity to highlight how their power to act helps resolve major global issues," noted the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development (CED), represented at the event by his MP colleague Joël Lightbound.

"In addition to international outreach, this major event will generate significant economic benefits for Quebec City and will once again position it as a prime location for hosting successful world summits. We would like to acknowledge the excellent work of the organizing committee and the numerous volunteers. We wish the participants every success and highly productive discussions," indicated the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos and Joël Lightbound.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard pointed out that "Quebec's cooperative movement is recognized around the world for its tremendous diversity, dynamism and ability to mobilize and act. That have been said, if we are to maintain our leadership role, we must continuously improve our practices and adapt them to a rapidly changing world. Thus, the Summit is the opportunity to reflect, in the company of respected speakers, on the perspectives for social development, prosperity and job creation through the cooperative formula."

"Quebec City is honoured to host, for the third time, this major event which attracts thousands of people intent on contributing to our society's dynamism through cooperation. It is clear that the cooperative movement is now an economic force to be reckoned with," added Mr. Labeaume.

Focus on the major issues of the 21st century
Day one abounds with forward-looking discussions focused on the global socioeconomic and geopolitical trends and challenges. Particularly noteworthy will be the conferences on inequalities with economist and Nobel Memorial Prize recipient Joseph Stiglitz, on shared value with FSG founder and Managing Director Mark Kramer, and on a new economic model with theorist and author Jeremy Rifkin. The current take on the global situation will also be addressed in depth by renowned panelists during three round tables on globalization, the real economy and women leaders.

"The fact that preeminent thinkers about the economy, influential leaders and some of the top political, economic and social experts will be at the Summit attests to the growing interest in the role of the cooperative business model in bringing about more inclusive and resilient economic development and sustainable prosperity," pointed out Monique F. Leroux.

"As we discuss our best practices and listen to our youth, in particular, this Summit will help us to better develop our cooperatives and mutuals, promote the cooperative model, maintains Guy Cormier, President and CEO of the Desjardins Group. This will better equip us to face a demanding conjuncture and to achieve the higher objectives of member experience, sustainable development and inter-cooperation."

Over the next two days, participants will debate ways to adapt to the new business realities and to increase their economic influence in each activity sector. They will also come together in workshops to propose concrete solutions for achieving the UN's new Sustainable Development Goals.

For more information about the Summit, go to

About the International Summit of Cooperatives
The International Summit of Cooperatives is the world's leading event for business development in the cooperative and mutual community. It offers managers, decision-makers and leaders of cooperative and mutual enterprises of all size and in all sectors, as well as anyone in the world of business, a unique venue for reflection, discussion, cooperation and training on major trends, as well as on current and future economic and financial issues. By demonstrating that the cooperative business model is one answer to the major socioeconomic issues of our times, the Summit aims to promote and foster the development of cooperative enterprises in all countries.


SOURCE International Summit of Cooperatives

For further information: International Summit of Cooperatives, Marie-Josée Gauvin, 514-247-0088,; Stéphanie Quirion, 514-260-0603,


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