Five key themes have been announced for the 2014 International Summit of Cooperatives in Canada.
Under the theme "Cooperatives' Power of Innovation," the business-focused event for board members, presidents and chief executives, will concentrate on food security; health and social care services; employment; financing and capitalization and developing co-operative and mutual businesses.
Thousands of delegates are set to attend the event in Quebec City from 6-9 October, which is hosted by Desjardins Group and the International Co-operative Alliance. A range of presentations, forums, and roundtables will allow participants from around the world to discuss subjects that speak to co-operatives and mutuals of the 21st century.
In looking at developing co-operative and mutual businesses, the Summit will provide tools to foster the growth and sustainability of businesses. Topics will
The event will also touch upon financing and capitalization in the context of new regulations and market turmoil. Meanwhile, the economic crisis has also meant nearly 200 million people are unemployment and the Summit will look at how the movement is making a difference.
In other areas, food security is a challenge that the world faces with estimates from the United Nations predicting that by 2050 the global population will be nine billion, which will create difficulties in finding agricultural space.
As the world's population grows and ages, the challenge of providing a wide range of health and social care services is another key issue, according to the Summit. This sector will be the biggest market in the 21st century. It is not merely a challenge that rallies co-operatives, but also an issue where co-operatives and mutuals can certainly provide answers.
Monique F. Leroux, President and CEO of Desjardins Group, said: "The themes for this second edition of the Summit were selected to promote the strengthening of co-operative businesses while addressing major global challenges. The Summit is thus continuing its mission to identify the main business issues facing cooperative businesses and mutuals and provide them with solutions to encourage their development and improve their performance," said, the Summit co-host.
Dame Pauline Green, President of the Alliance, added: "We wish once again to ensure that the benefits of the co-operative model are promoted worldwide.”
In the run-up to the Summit, it has issued a call for researchers to submit proposals for scientific articles related to the Summit’s main themes.