Cooperatives foster dialogue in troubled times
by Steven Johnson, Staff Writer
For the world’s 3 million cooperatives, the fireworks will come a couple of days early. July 2 marks the 100th International Day of Cooperatives, and it represents an opportunity to put the importance of cooperatives front and center around the globe.
This year’s theme is “Cooperatives Build a Better World,” an extension of a similar theme from 2012, which the United Nations designated as the International Year of Cooperatives. You’ll find the social media hashtag #CoopsDay as a central location for information about co-ops and the celebration, and co-ops are encouraged to share their local events.
“Cooperatives are answering the wake-up call of U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who warned that the world is on the edge of an abyss,” says Bruno Roelants, director general of the International Cooperative Alliance. “We need dialogue, we need understanding.”
About 12% of the global population is part of the cooperative movement, with particular emphasis on agriculture, energy, employment and finance. Especially during the pandemic, the ICA notes that cooperatives have proven themselves resilient to crises, while improving people’s material conditions and security, and contributing to positive peace.
“Cooperatives are the only enterprise model with globally agreed principles that rest on a foundation of shared ethical values,” Roelants adds.
Marked by cooperatives worldwide since 1923, the International Day of Cooperatives is celebrated annually on the first Saturday of July.
The aim of #CoopsDay is to increase awareness of cooperatives and promote the movement’s ideas of international solidarity, economic efficiency, equality and world peace. Since 1995, the ICA, the U.N. and the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives, have jointly set the theme for the celebration of #CoopsDay
For more information, visit coopsday.coop.