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July 2021
Special Focus: #RebuildBetterTogether

Message from President Ariel Guarco: 2021 International Day of Cooperatives

Cooperative friends from all over the world, our day just passed - The International Day of Cooperatives. This was a very special date, on which more than one billion members of three million cooperatives on all continents came together to show our strength. This year, we invited everyone to Rebuild Better Together the economic and social fabric damaged by the pandemic. We have all felt the impact of this health, social and economic crisis on a global scale. This continued crisis draws attention to longstanding inequalities that are making us envision how we can rebuild this world, so that no one is left behind. Read more

Special focus: Rebuild Better Together

Cooperative values never resonated so much with communities as during COVID-19. The crisis has also raised the question of how to rebuild so that no one is left behind. Cooperatives hold the answer to that question. They can lead a recovery that prioritises people, their communities, and the environment they live in. A recent BBC documentary highlighted cooperative contributions to rebuilding economies post COVID-19. Some successful stories of cooperation were highlighted during the International Day of Cooperatives on 3 July. Among them, we looked at insurer Sancor Seguros in Argentina and interviewed Telecoop in France. A preview of the 2021 World Cooperative Monitor provided encouraging indications that cooperative actions during the pandemic’s recovery phase can usher in an economic model that is more sustainable and inclusive. The global movement also came together to raise funds for affected cooperatives in India and Nepal via the ICA’s ‘Cooperatives Combat COVID-19’ fund. Likewise, retail cooperatives in the UK provided over £100,000 to support SEWA Co-operative Federation in India to cope with COVID-19 challenges. A celebratory #CoopsDay online event on how cooperatives can lead a people-centred and environmentally just recovery was held on 2 July. Register here for a second event which will take place on 12 July. 

How the cooperative identity can tackle global issues
The ICA International Cooperative Entrepreneurship Think Tank (ICETT) organised three events in June to deepen conversations about the cooperative identity in the run-up to the World Cooperative Congress in Seoul, the Republic of Korea.
Why cooperatives can win the race to shape the future of work
The ICETT hosted an online event on 1 June to explore the future of work. Bringing together cooperators from across the world, the event was organised by one of ICETT’s four working groups, which focuses on the future of work.
ICETT series of events: Cooperating for a greener, fairer future
Cooperatives are helping to build an environmentally just future through a series of initiatives, some of which were showcased during an online event hosted by the ICETT on 3 June to mark World Environment Day. Participants also examined the importance of the cooperative identity in driving the movement’s efforts.
ICETT looks at the cooperative effort to halt child labour
The ICETT marked the World Day Against Child Labour with an online event organised in collaboration with the International Labour Organization. The event featured presentations from cooperators and UN representatives, who explored the sector’s role in tackling child labour.

Cooperators discuss the sector’s contribution to the economies of Mercosur countries
Cooperative leaders joined high-level officials to discuss the sector’s role in driving economic development in Mercosur countries. The event took place on 16 June in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The ICA and the G20: ‘It is critically important for the movement to have a seat at the table’

In April the ICA set up a G20 Working Group (WG), which is collaborating with members of the Italian Cooperative Alliance to contribute to the G20 discussions, particularly involving the Business 20 (B20) and Civil Society 20 (C20) task forces. The Chair, Vice-Chair and Facilitator of the ICA G20 WG explain cooperatives' participation/engagement in the G20 discussions.
Sharing Digitisation Strategies Among Credit Unions and Cooperative Banks
The International Cooperative Banking Association (ICBA) and the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) shared case studies of digitisation strategies during a joint webinar held on 25 May. Participants heard from a range of credit union and cooperative banking digital experts.
Congolese cooperative movement affected by the Volcano Goma

The Credit Cooperative of Nyawera in Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, has launched an appeal for support after a volcanic eruption on 22 May killed 30 people with another 3,500 others losing their homes.
Cooperatives stand the test of time once again in India 
India experienced an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 infections and deaths during the second wave of infection, making it the worst affected country in the world. Cooperatives and their members have not been immune to the impact of the pandemic. 

TED Talk by researcher Anu Puusa highlights the case for cooperatives

Professor Anu Puusa from the University of Eastern Finland’s Business School was featured in the TED Talk series, in which distinguished experts give speeches of no more than 18 minutes. She explained how cooperatives can make money and have a positive impact on the environment and local communities.
OCDC research makes the case for the role of cooperatives in development
The US Overseas Cooperative Development Council (OCDC) released a report on the difference that primary cooperative societies are making in the lives of their members in four countries – Kenya, Peru, Philippines and Poland.
The role of cooperative and mutual insurers in disaster risk reduction

A report by the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) identifies seven practical mechanisms for how the cooperative and mutual insurance sector can help drive prevention and disaster risk reduction. 
Find out why Curaçao's Ministry of Economic Development joined the ICA!
National-level government agencies and departments relevant to cooperatives can join the ICA as associate members. One of the first such departments to have joined is the Ministry of Economic Development (MEO) from Curaçao. We talked to them to find out what motivated them to become a member of the ICA.
Government entities invited to become members of the ICA
The ICA is calling on national-level government agencies and departments relevant to cooperatives to join as associate members. With over 300 members from over 100 countries, the ICA provides members with a global reach to strengthen the cooperative movement locally. 

Join us for the CCR Europe Conference!
The CCR Europe Conference starts today! The online event, on 7-9 July, brings together cooperative scholars and researchers to deepen the understanding of the resilience of cooperatives facing crisis. The conference will explore a range of topics, such as how cooperatives can anticipate and respond to new business opportunities and develop innovative solutions for a sustainable and solidarity future.
How women in leadership can help to drive a just recovery
The ICA’s Gender Equality Committee (GEC) with the support of the ICA-EU Partnership (#coops4dev) team, hosted a conversation on the role of cooperatives in helping women leaders to tackle gender inequalities. The event’s theme was women in leadership for a just recovery, in line with International Women’s Day which was celebrated on 8 March.

2021 arrivals: New member from the Philippines 
The ICA is pleased to welcome another member - the Network Consolidated Cooperative Bank (NCCB) from the Philippines. NCBB was formed through the merger of six cooperative banks with support from the National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO).
2021 arrivals: New members from India and The Netherlands 
The ICA welcomed the National Yuva Co-operative Society (NYCS) from India in May and the Dutch Council for Cooperatives from the Netherlands in June. The Centre for Cooperatives and Livelihoods in India also joined the ICA as an associate member in July.

In memoriam: Dr. Eudes de Freitas Aquino

On 9 March 2021, the global cooperative movement lost Dr. Eudes de Freitas Aquino, a lifelong cooperator who championed health cooperatives in Brazil and across the world. A renowned nephrologist (kidney specialist), he was President of the health cooperative Unimed Piracicaba and Fundação Unimed, and was an advisor to the president of Unimed Federação São Paulo. 

Remembering Professor Johnston Birchall

Leading cooperative scholar Professor Johnston Birchall passed away following an extended period of illness. A leading author and scholar, he was a Professor Emeritus at the Social Sciences Department at the University of Stirling. He dedicated over 25 years researching issues related to stakeholder participation in cooperatives, mutual and public service agencies.
The final details of the programme are being confirmed, but there is lots of information on the website ready to explore! Here you can find out more about the World Cooperative Congress, the themes and planned sessions for the event, the speakers, as well as news and updates.
As the countdown to Congress continues, the line up of speakers and facilitators is growing! Cooperators from different countries and different sectors will join together on the 3-day Congress platform to explore the idea of Deepening the Cooperative Identity. Who has been confirmed recently?

Cooperatives recognised in EU development budget

On 9 June, the European Parliament approved the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) - Global Europe, concluding the tripartite negotiations between the European Commission, the Council and the European Parliament. This instrument will govern the EU budget on international development, a financial envelope of EUR 79,462 million, for the period 2021 - 2027.

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2021 European Development Days

On 15 and 16 June Cooperatives Europe participated, under the ICA-EU Partnership on international cooperative development (#coops4dev), in the 2021 European Development Days (#EDD21),  the EU paramount event on international development. Cooperatives Europe organised two sessions focusing on the key role of young people and cooperatives in the achievement of a green and inclusive transition.

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GCE interviews: Meet GCE mentors and youth ambassadors

We have been talking with participants of the GCE (Global Cooperative Entrepreneurs) programme to know about the cooperative start-ups of youth ambassadors, the key role of mentors representing the cooperative movement and youth organisations, and the added value of this innovative mentoring programme in the exciting journey of young entrepreneurs across the globe. Discover the series of interviews and the brand-new GCE infopage!

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Coopedia: An open-source knowledge base to drive cooperative entrepreneurship

Coopedia Knowledge Base is an innovative and collaborative search engine collecting a wide range of learning resources in different languages on cooperative entrepreneurship. After launching it on 8 September 2020, Cooperatives Europe, the ICA and its regional offices started a global campaign to expand the use of Coopedia Knowledge Base and invite interested organisations to install their own version of this innovative tool in their online platforms.

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What does the cooperative movement look like in your country?

The mapping of cooperative actors carried out by the ICA-EU Partnership (#coops4dev) is steadily advancing. Since the launch of the interactive online map, 54 countries are currently available, with other countries forthcoming. Through the presentation of available data, the research provides cooperators and anyone with a keen interest in the cooperative movement with a better picture of the cooperative context in their own and in other countries.

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Cooperatives empowering young people: A look back at the GYF21

The Global Youth Forum – Cooperative Entrepreneurship 2021 (GYF21) wrapped up on 26 March after two days of discussions around youth, cooperatives, and entrepreneurship. In its second edition, the GYF was held virtually, and 430 participants from around the world registered to attend the event. It featured 28 online sessions and workshops, an online concert and countless conversations.

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New report aims to improve engagement between young people and the cooperative movement

A new thematic research publication “Young people and cooperatives: a perfect match?” presents research and analysis based upon the direct input of young people in 20 countries. Organised into five chapters and presenting a number of practical examples of youth cooperation, the report identifies ways that support between young people and cooperatives can be improved.
7 July 2021
7-9 July 2021
12 July 2021
19 July 2021
1 - 3 Dec 2021

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