Speakers

John Houston

Film Producer and Director
Atautsikut/Leaving None Behind

John Houston will help launch the start of Congress by sharing his stories at the celebratory event, kicking off the three days of discussion, debate and conversations on the theme, Deepening our Cooperative Identity.


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Ela Bhatt

Activist Ela Bhatt to speak at Congress.

Activist Ela Bhatt will join the cadre of speakers at Congress this year, and set the stage for discussions on Committing to our Cooperative Identity.


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Olivier De Schutter

UN Special Rapporteur for Extreme Poverty and Human Rights


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Iñigo Albizuri Landazabal

At the Congress, Mr. Albizuri will be speaking alongside Idoia Mendia, Deputy President and Regional Minister for Labour and Employment in the Basque Government, on ‘Strengthening Our Cooperative Identity’.


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Idoia Mendia

At the Congress, Mendia will be speaking alongside Iñigo Albizuri – Mondragon’s Global Head of Public Affairs at Mondragon Corporation on ‘Strengthening Our Cooperative Identity’.


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Guy Ryder

Born in Liverpool (UK) in 1956, Guy Ryder studied Social and Political Sciences at the University of Cambridge and Latin American Studies at the University of Liverpool. He speaks French and Spanish as well as his mother tongue, English. He started his professional career in 1981 as assistant at the International Department of the Trade Union Congress in London.


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Facilitators

Karina Lehoux

Since her debut on stage and in television in the early 2000s, Karina Lehoux has been a facilitator in more than 850 events, including: seminars and conventions, annual general meetings and public forums. More recently, she has been using her experience in television to facilitate virtual conferences, awards and international events. Last October, she was the spokesperson for the Conseil québécois de la coopération et de la mutualité. Karina Lehoux is a graduate of Laval University (bachelor’s degree in business administration) and HEC Montréal (DESS in communication-marketing).


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Iñigo Albizuri Landazabal

At the Congress, Mr. Albizuri will be speaking alongside Idoia Mendia, Deputy President and Regional Minister for Labour and Employment in the Basque Government, on ‘Strengthening Our Cooperative Identity’.


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Alexandra Wilson

Alexandra Wilson discovered a passion for cooperatives in 1974, when she led her neighbours in a successful fight to create the Bain Apartments Cooperative, putting a stop to the landlord’s plans to evict 260 low-income households. This involvement as a teenager in saving her own home led to a career in the development, management and provision of association services to housing cooperatives. After nine years with the Cooperative Housing Federation of Toronto, five as managing director, and 15 years at the head of the Cooperative Housing Federation of Canada, Alexandra started up the Agency for Cooperative Housing, serving as CEO from 2005 until her retirement in 2021.


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Dr. Carlos Zarco

Dr. Carlos Zarco has a degree in Medicine and post-graduate studies in quality management and senior management of health institutions. He has master’s degrees in Planning and Quality Management, Science in Health, and Advanced Clinical Management. Dr. Zarco is a member of the Board and Director-General of Fundación Espriu, President of the International Health Cooperative Organisation, IHCO, and member of the Board of the Alliance for Health Promotion.


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Dr. Saji Gopinath

Dr. Saji Gopinath is the Vice-Chancellor of Kerala University of Digital Sciences, Innovation and Technology set up by the Government in the southern state of Kerala in India. He has a long career as a Professor of Management with the Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode where his research is primarily in the area of Operation Excellence in a variety of social and commercial organizations.


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Maria Eugenia Pérez Zea

Maria Eugenia Pérez Zea is the Chair of the International Cooperative Alliance’s Gender Equality Committee and Vice President of the Regional Committee on Gender Equality (CREG). She is the Executive Director of the Colombian Association of Cooperatives (ASCOOP).


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Ben Reid

An accountant by profession, Ben Reid began his cooperative career with a small cooperative in Ilkeston, UK. By 1988 he had become Deputy CEO of West Midlands Co-operative and CEO in 1992. In 2005 West Midlands Co-operative Society and Oxford, Swindon and Gloucester Society merged forming Midcounties Co-operative.


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Panelists

John Houston

Film Producer and Director
Atautsikut/Leaving None Behind

John Houston will help launch the start of Congress by sharing his stories at the celebratory event, kicking off the three days of discussion, debate and conversations on the theme, Deepening our Cooperative Identity.


More Information
closepopup
Ela Bhatt

Activist Ela Bhatt to speak at Congress.

Activist Ela Bhatt will join the cadre of speakers at Congress this year, and set the stage for discussions on Committing to our Cooperative Identity.


More Information
closepopup
Olivier De Schutter

UN Special Rapporteur for Extreme Poverty and Human Rights


More Information
closepopup
Iñigo Albizuri Landazabal

At the Congress, Mr. Albizuri will be speaking alongside Idoia Mendia, Deputy President and Regional Minister for Labour and Employment in the Basque Government, on ‘Strengthening Our Cooperative Identity’.


More Information
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Idoia Mendia

At the Congress, Mendia will be speaking alongside Iñigo Albizuri – Mondragon’s Global Head of Public Affairs at Mondragon Corporation on ‘Strengthening Our Cooperative Identity’.


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Julie LaPalme

Julie LaPalme is Secretary General for Cooperative Housing International, one of the International Cooperative Alliance’s eight sectors. Since 2014, Julie has been raising awareness about housing cooperatives at a global level, facilitating peer-to-peer exchanges, and sharing good practices through a comprehensive communications program.


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Jose Pérez

Jose Pérez has been working on the promotion of health cooperatives since 2000. Currently, he is Deputy Director of Fundación Espriu, Spanish organisation gathering health cooperatives in Spain, and Secretary-General of the International Health Cooperative Organisation.


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Elizabeth Salazar

Elizabeth Salazar is an international development practitioner and gender advisor. She is a Technical Specialist for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment at the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA). Her work focuses on international development programs in the areas of economic growth and livelihoods, cooperative business development, and food security and agriculture.


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Louis Cousin

Louis Cousin is a researcher and consultant in cooperative digital innovation.


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Bitange Ndemo

Bitange Ndemo is a Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Nairobi’s Business School. His research centres on the link between ICTs and small and medium enterprises with emphasis on how ICTs influence economic development in Africa. Professor Ndemo chaired the Kenya Distributed Ledgers and Artificial Intelligence Taskforce that developed the country’s road map for digital transformation.


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Balasubramanian Iyer

Balasubramanian (Balu) Iyer, is ICA’s Asia-Pacific’s Regional Director based in New Delhi, India. ICA, a member-based organization, advances the cooperative social enterprise model and provides a global voice and forum for cooperatives. The ICA Asia-Pacific’s 110 members from 32 countries are national apex organizations, sector federations and government departments.


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Ander Etxeberria-Otadui

Ander Etxeberria-Otadui has been the head of Mondragon’s cooperative outreach program for the last five years. Annually, he serves approximately two thousand people who want to become acquainted with the Mondragon Cooperative Experience. He also lectures in universities and other fora around the world.


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Marc Noël

Marc has been working in the cooperative movement since 2004. He started working in coffee and cacao cooperatives in Nicaragua for a year, before joining the European Confederation Cooperatives Europe in 2006. He currently acts as ICA’s International Development Director, coordinating the #coops4dev Partnership with the European Commission.


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Masters of Ceremony

Gwangseog Hong

Proudly representing the Korean cooperative movement, Gwangseog Hong will be one of two MCs at Congress. He is the team leader of the international cooperation office at the Korea National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (NACF), and deputy secretary general of the International Cooperative Agricultural Orgnisation (ICAO) Secretariat.


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Zuraidah Hoffman

Joining Mr. Hong as co-MC is Zuraidah Hoffman. She leads the World Cooperative Congress communications team, after joining the ICA in 2019 as the interim communications director. With more than 20 years of experience in communications, she spent the last decade working closely with NRECA International, a global rural electrification NGO that takes its roots from the American electric cooperative movement. An experienced storyteller, producer and communicator, Zuraidah has travelled the world to produce stories on the impact rural electric cooperatives have on improving lives. A trained journalist and alumni of The George Washington University, she has experience in both written and visual media, international community outreach programmes and strategic communication.


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