By Miles Hadfield
This year’s ICA global research conference will look at the role of co-operatives in a rapidly changing world. The conference slated for 4 to 6th July at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, will have three eminent speakers for the occasion.
The themes of discussion include–innovations in internal governance, the rise of producer organizations, resilience and sustainability of the co-operative model, strengthening member commitment, financial and sustainability performance; co-operative education, statistics on co-operatives, co-operatives and changing labour relations and co-operatives and big data.
Keynote speakers include Wiebe Draijer, chair of Rabobank, who will look at the 200-year history of European financial co-operatives – which helps mark 2018 as the The Raiffeisen Year, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen, the founder of co-operative banking.
Another keynote speaker, Simel Esim, head of the Cooperatives Unit at the International Labour Organization, will focus on co-operation in the changing world of work. She will reflect on changing technology and the impact of climate change on demographics, production and employment. She will provide an overview of emerging responses to these changes by co-operatives and other social and solidarity economy enterprises, such as worker buyouts, platform co-ops, and co-ops working in renewable energy social care.
And Prof Murray Fulton, from the University of Saskatchewan, will look at the latest trends in research on co-operatives. His speech will be followed by a panel discussion of co-operative performance and statistics.
The conference will also feature a panel discussion on future challenges and solutions for co-operatives.