Explore what is happening on each day of the World Cooperative Congress programme below. See how the sessions address the different Congress themes and find out more about the people taking part in the different sessions.
Live session in Seoul
18:00 – WELCOME TO THE ICA 33RD WORLD CONGRESS COCKTAIL
18:15 – CELEBRATING COOPERATIVE IDENTITY
Atautsikut / Leaving None Behind – by John Houston, film producer, Canada
A lived story of a humanitarian project based on trust and the duty to help people. The importance of cooperatives and their identity (the identity of Inuit cooperatives is intimately linked to the very identity of the people who make them up), the capacity of these cooperatives to unite individuals and communities for a common good. Johan and in Inuit friend will speak from the bottom of their hearts.
John Houston ,film producer, Canada
09:00 – OPENING SPEECHES BY DIGNITARIES
10:00 – ALL ABOARD FOR A JOURNEY INTO OUR IDENTITY
10:15 – INSTRUCTION FOR THE DAY
10:30 – COFFEE BREAK AT THE EXHIBITORS’ FAIR
11:00 – PLENARY 1 — EXAMINING OUR COOPERATIVE IDENTITY
The cooperative identity unites us to work for the common good. Our values and principles give millions of people control of their own lives, their future, and serve as the strong foundation that sets cooperatives apart from other types of enterprises. How can our business model continue to be relevant in addressing today’s global challenges?
11:30 – ROUND TABLE 1— EXAMINING OUR COOPERATIVE IDENTITY – A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY
An expert panel will discuss the unique opportunities that our cooperative identity presents to us for meeting members’ needs and attaining expanded market share, taking the ongoing crisis as an opportunity.
- John Houston film producer, Canada
12:30 – LUNCH AT THE EXHIBITORS’ FAIR
14:00 – PARALLEL SESSIONS: EXAMINING OUR COOPERATIVE IDENTITY THROUGH…
1.1 – THROUGH A STRONG COOPERATIVE BRAND
Good brand management has been shown to support business growth. In cooperatives, through the COOP marque and the dotcoop domain name, branding is also a reflection of the cooperative identity, with its values and principles, helping to build loyalty and increase the number of members. Cooperative branding can highlight cooperative identity and its components that most resonate with the public, like commitment to members and the community, while giving cooperatives a competitive edge. What is the best way to manage cooperative branding? What are the best examples? And how can we measure its impact?
Ben Reid O.B.E, member of the Board of Dot.Coop, retired CEO of Midcounties Cooperative, ICA Board Director, UK
1.2 – THROUGH INCLUSIVE GOVERNANCE
Participation and inclusion of cultural, gender and age diversity are fundamental for a sound cooperative governance, and they are at the heart of our cooperative identity. To keep these characteristics alive, we must continuously question ourselves: Are we inclusive enough? What can we do to keep the cooperative identity appealing to everyone? How do we make sure our governance practices are inclusive and welcoming to all?
Maria Eugenia Pérez Zea Chair of ICA Gender Equality Committee, President of ASCOOP, ICA Board Director, Colombia
1.3 – THROUGH EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
Cooperative Principle #5 provides cooperatives with the basis to prioritise education, training and information for all. It’s necessary to make cooperative curricula commonly and readily available at all levels of educational institutions, from elementary and secondary schools to college and university degree programs. What are the best emblematic examples? What have we learned from them? How can they be disseminated faster?
1.4 – THROUGH COOPERATIVE CULTURE AND SAFEGUARDING CULTURAL HERITAGE
In 2016, UNESCO, via the German cooperative movement, recognized cooperatives as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. UNESCO’s decision is an important acknowledgment of the dedication shown by millions of people working in cooperatives all over the world. What is the implication of this honour? How can we promote it to strengthen the pride in, and value of cooperative identity worldwide?
1.5 – THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS WITH GOVERNMENTS
Many cooperatives have been created through grassroots campaigns. Others have been promoted and supported by governments as part of a country’s economic strategy. Others have successfully developed a partnership ecosystem with governments through public policy co-creation and co-management. It has been shown that such approaches can be effective in growing the cooperative movement, especially in rural and marginalised communities. What lessons can we learn from these approaches? How can we encourage more governments to consider these approaches as part of their strategy for a sustainable future for all?
Dr. Youngkon Koh President, Korea Institute for Cooperative Development (KICD), Republic of Korea
15:30 – COFFEE BREAK AT THE EXHIBITORS’ FAIR
16:00 – PLENARY—WHAT EMERGES FROM PARALLEL SESSIONS? AN INTERVIEW WITH THE RAPPORTEURS.
- Bernadette Turner – S 1.1, Midcounties Cooperative, UK
- Elizabeth Salazar – S 1.2, International Development Manager and Gender Advisor, NCBA-CLUSA, United States
- João Martins – S 1.3, OCB, Brazil
- Santosh P. Kumar – S 1.4, ICA Director of Legislation, Belgium
- Kim Hyunwoo – S 1.5, Senior Manager, National Agriculture Cooperative Federation (NACF), Republic of Korea
16:30 – INSTRUCTIONS FOR DAY 2
17:00 – END OF DAY
19:00 – GALA
09:00 – WELCOME WORDS
09:10 – PLENARY 2 – STRENGTHENING OUR COOPERATIVE IDENTITY
Innovation and entrepreneurship are more important than ever in facing today’s complex global economy. The people-centred cooperative model nurtures talent, creativity and encourages innovative ideas to create a more humane and inclusive society. How do we make our cooperative identity a competitive advantage in the global market?
09:40 – ROUND TABLE—STRENGTHENING OUR COOPERATIVE IDENTITY—THE BEST OF IT
This expert panel will discuss the question regarding whether cooperatives, by reinforcing their identity, have a unique business opportunity to innovate beyond current market conditions, for which there is ample evidence, including the financial recession of 2008, as well as, probably, the current economic crisis generated by the pandemic.
Karina Lehoux Professional facilitator Canada
10:40 – COFFEE BREAK AT THE EXHIBITORS’ FAIR
11:10 – PARALLEL SESSIONS: STRENGTHENING OUR COOPERATIVE IDENTITY BY…
2.1 – BY TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE DIGITAL AGE
The digital economy is around us. It transforms the world as we know it. From the “new normal” introduced by COVID-19, business models are emerging motivated by positive social impact, sustainable development and inclusion of gender and cultures. However, the digital economy is profoundly disrupting the world of work. What must be done to remain a source of inspiration while respecting members and their common interest? How can cooperatives guarantee a bright future for workers while going digital?
Dr. Saji Gopinath Vice Chancellor of Kerala University of Digital Sciences, Innovation and Technology, India
2.2 – BY SUPPORTING AN ETHICAL VALUE CHAIN MANAGEMENT
All types of organizations need to demonstrate an ethical, strong and resilient value chain that meets the highest standards to fight modern slavery, financial crime and climate change. Cooperative members are demanding more information on the products and services they consume. Regulators are considering stricter enforcement programs with substantial penalties for those who do not comply. How satisfactory are the relationships of cooperatives to current partner organizations in various value chains? Are there more business opportunities within the global Fair-Trade? Are secondary and tertiary cooperatives being used for leveraging the regional and global markets? Are they providing enough support to primary cooperatives and their communities?
2.3 – BY HAVING A STRONG ENTREPRENEURIAL NETWORK
Innovation and entrepreneurship require the ability to connect to a large support network of people, ideas and financial resources. Successful cooperative partnerships and groupings, both sectoral and crosssectoral, have developed in many countries over the last decades, based on cooperative Principle #6: cooperation among cooperatives. Can strong global networks of cooperatives be created to increase market shares and enter new ones? How do cooperatives pool entrepreneurial support services for startups, worker and community buyouts?
Iñigo Albizuri Landazabal Director of Public Affairs, MONDRAGON Corporation, President, CICOPA, Spain
2.4 – BY MEETING FUTURE CAPITAL NEEDS
Based on their identity, cooperative enterprises have a specific capital structure because of their ownership and control system, with limited nominal capital contributed by members, while building longterm reserve funds. As a result, cooperatives strive to find innovative ways to build capital in order to support their development and make sure their capitalization model is taken into consideration by regulators. What should be done to ensure a form of capital management that allows for cooperatives to innovate, be resilient, grow and succeed in their mission?
2.5 – BY SUPPORTING ENTREPRENEURIAL INNOVATION
According to their international definition, cooperatives are characterized by being both enterprises and associations, and their true identity can only be acquired if a balance between the two elements is maintained. Therefore, entrepreneurial innovation must embody cooperative values and principles. What are their growth trajectories? How have cooperatives pursued entrepreneurial innovation while embodying cooperative values? What challenges must cooperatives overcome to become successful future businesses?
Dr. Chanho Choi Senior Consultant, Korea Institute for Cooperative Development, Republic of Korea
12:40 – LUNCH AT THE EXHIBITORS’ FAIR
14:10 – PLENARY – WHAT EMERGES FROM PARALLEL SESSIONS 2? AN INTERVIEW WITH THE RAPPORTEURS
- Balasubramanian Iyer – S 2.1, Regional Director Asia and Pacific International, Co-operative Alliance
- Todor Ivanov – S 2.2, Secretary General, Eurocoop
- Ander Etxeberria-Otadui – S 2.3, Director of Cooperative Dissemination, Mondragon Corporation, Spain
- Bruno Dunkel – S 2.4, Director, Inpulse, Belgium
- Juhee Lee – S 2.5, Manager of International team, SAPEN Development Center (iCOOP), Republic of Korea
14:40 – PLENARY 3 – COMMITTING TO OUR COOPERATIVE IDENTITY
Inclusion and humanity are at the core of our identity, making cooperatives a valuable tool in the construction of positive peace. We respond to the needs of refugees, rebuild after natural disasters, look after the most vulnerable, and respond to the ravages of a global pandemic. These crises are constantly threatening an increasingly globalised economy. How can cooperatives work together to bring about positive and lasting change in the world?
ROUND TABLE—COMMITTING TO OUR COOPERATIVE IDENTITY FOR A POSITIVE GLOBAL CHANGE
The expert panel will discuss the present and future roles of cooperatives in affecting positive global change. Cooperatives have been very much involved and have very much to offer regarding peace construction and reconstruction, addressing the needs of refugees and manage natural disaster recovery.
Ela Bhatt Founder of the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA), India
- Ela Bhatt Founder of the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA), India
16:10 – COFFEE BREAK AT THE EXHIBITORS’ FAIR
16:40 – PARALLEL SESSIONS: COMMITTING TO OUR COOPERATIVE IDENTITY FOR…
3.1 – FOR THE SURVIVAL OF THE PLANET
The top priority of a majority of institutions on the planet is to act on climate change. The pandemic has highlighted the interdependence between the degradation of the environment and health risks. Cooperatives have been committed to and have been responding to UN Sustainable Development Goals long before these came into being. How does the global cooperative movement fight against climate change? What measures are being taken in cooperative sectors—agriculture, fisheries, consumption, housing, health, banking, insurance, industry and services, etc. to mitigate the adverse effects of the climate crisis and build resilience? How do the different cooperative sectors address the loss of biodiversity? What are the best coping strategies?
3.2 – FOR PEACE AND EQUALITY
According to the ICA Declaration on Positive Peace through Cooperatives (2019), peace based on “good contribution in the community, particularly cooperation and integration, reconciliation and equality” is positive peace. Many times, cooperatives have been directly involved in positive peace initiatives without being necessarily recognized for the direct role they have played. Does support for positive peace feature prominently in the global cooperative movement? How do their actions translate into restoring post-conflict peace and stability, conflict prevention, natural disaster recovery and the refugee crisis?
3.3 – FOR COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE WORLD
By giving local communities direct control over their destiny, whether in agricultural production, health, housing, education, industry, retail, banking or energy, cooperatives play a decisive role in the world economy. There are lessons to be learned from successes and failures in international cooperative development. What lessons have been learnt from the ICA-EU Partnership programme in cooperative development? How have the values and principles which are part of the cooperative identity been important in this process?
3.4 – FOR STRENGTHENING THE COMMUNITY
Cooperative Principle #7: Concern for Community emphasizes the cooperative contribution to local community development, while promoting the economic participation of their members. The cooperative model has the potential to play a key role in communities facing various social problems, such as poverty, inequality and unemployment. It is an excellent model for building circular and autogenous communities by promoting the revitalization of the regional economy, creating jobs and increasing the social and economic participation of members in community development. How can this be enhanced to help communities facing various social issues? How can the cooperative movement help build independent, self-reliant communities that will reinvest their own knowledge and resources back in the community itself?
3.5 – FOR FACING CRISES WITH STRENGTH
The COVID-19 pandemic is the best example of how disasters often occur unexpectedly and cause social, health and economic harm. Our open democratic system helps us face and overcome health, social and economic crises. Cooperatives have repeatedly shown resilience to crises. What have cooperatives done to emerge from this crisis?
18:10 – END OF DAY 2
09:00 – WELCOME WORDS
09:10 – PLENARY – WHAT EMERGES FROM PARALLEL SESSIONS 3? AN INTERVIEW WITH THE RAPPORTEURS
- Danilo Salerno – S 3.1, Regional Director, Cooperatives of the Americas, Costa Rica
- Diana Dovgan – S 3.2, Secretary General CICOPA, Belgium
- Marc Noël – S 3.3, International Development Director– ICA-EU Partnership Programme
- S 3.4, TBA
- Kang Minsu- S 3.5, Director, Seoul Cooperative Support Center, Republic of Korea
09:40 – PLENARY 4 – LIVING OUR COOPERATIVE IDENTITY
The foundation of our identity drives cooperatives to pursue fundamental positive change in our world such as support for the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. As grassroots organisations led by their members, cooperatives are working strongly to offer effective approaches to sustainable development in the communities in which they are rooted. But how are UN global policies being turned into effective local actions?
Olivier De Schutter United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights
10:10 – ROUND TABLE—LIVING OUR IDENTITY FOR THE BEST OF SDGs
Representatives of the ICA sectors will present their top three ideas for addressing the Sustainable Development Goals. Attendees will have the opportunity to comment and add ideas to the discussion.
- Olivier De Schutter United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights
11:10 – COFFEE BREAK AT THE EXHIBITORS’ FAIR
11:40 – PARALLEL SESSIONS: LIVING OUR COOPERATIVE IDENTITY WITH…
4.1 – WITH REWARDING JOBS
To maintain the cooperative movement’s vision of fair and ethical economic development to ensure a bright future and rewarding jobs, more autonomy and active participation for workers, cooperatives must adapt to the changes brought about by computer systems and AI. They demonstrate a high level of innovation in creating new forms of work and working relationships. How will the relationship between unions and cooperatives look like in the future? What lessons can we learn from these new approaches?
Osamu Nakano Japan Workers’ Co-operative Union (JWCU), Japan
4.2 – WITH ACCESSIBLE HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES
There are few issues that unite people around the world more than health care and health-related social services, especially under a global pandemic. Cooperatives have excelled in both fields and offer a unique alternative to the debate between public and private services. What innovative approaches have been implemented to face the growing cost of health care? How are cooperatives meeting the growing needs of both aging populations and vulnerable people? What might a cooperative program reflecting the future of care look like? How can the cooperative movement contribute to making health a priority for all?
Dr. Carlos Zarco President, IHCO, director, Fundacion Espriu, Spain
4.3 – WITH ENHANCED FOOD SECURITY
The relationship between food production and consumption is being tested in many ways—climate change, drought, flooding, refugee displacement, and rural depopulation. Particularly acute is the disruption of the chains of production and distribution. This, however, has provided a renewed role to cooperatives engaged in agricultural production. How do cooperatives address new ways to ensure production in food systems? How does this contribute to building sustainable, ethical and inclusive value chains?
4.4 – WITH AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND ENERGY
Access to affordable housing and affordable energy are closely linked. Cooperatives have a role to play in the provision of both. Can housing cooperatives be instrumental in providing clean, affordable energy to their members? Are there opportunities for collaboration with cooperatives in the energy sector?
Alexandra Wilson Retired CEO of The Agency for Co-operative Housing, ICA Board Director, Canada
4.5 – WITHIN THE SOCIAL AND SOLIDARITY ECONOMY
Cooperatives and other social and solidarity economy actors working with local governments in delivering services within society constitute an engine to improve local and territorial development. It is recognized that the social and solidarity economy (SSE) create wealth in urban and rural areas and contributes to sustainable local and territorial development. What are the best practices in such partnerships? How do we develop policies and programs that are favourable to the social and solidarity economy?