An illustration of a light-bulb above a person's head.
An illustration of a dove holding an olive branch.
An Illustration of the globe with radio waves emanating out of it.

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?


World Cooperative Congress Sessions

Plenary Session 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?

Parallel Session 2.1: By Taking Advantage of the Digital Age

The digital economy is around us. It creates value and 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 the collective interest? How can cooperatives guarantee a bright future for workers while going digital?

Parallel Session 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. Cooperatives are no exception. Their members are demanding more from the products and services they consume. Regulators are imposing stricter enforcement programs with substantial penalties for those who do not play by the rules. 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?

Parallel Session 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 sectorial and cross-sectoral, have developed in many countries over the last decades, based on cooperative Principle #6: cooperation among cooperatives. Can a stronger global network of cooperatives be created to increase market share and conquer new ones? How do cooperatives pool entrepreneurial support services for start-ups, worker and community buyouts?

Parallel Session 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 long-term reserve funds. As a result, cooperatives strive to find innovative ways to build capital in order to support their development and to make sure their capitalization model is taken into consideration by regulators. What must be done to promote capitalization in cooperatives and have such capitalization taken into account in the global financial standards?

Parallel Session 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?