When the United Nations International Year of Cooperatives (IYC) began in January 2012 – roughly three years after the fall of Lehman Brothers (conventionally considered to signal the beginning of a worldwide crisis) – it was already clear that this crisis, apart from being global, would also be a long and protracted one. The numerous IYC initiatives (conferences, summits, publications, documentary films) could not but face this historical turning point and try to decode it.
This report is an attempt at redefining growth as a multifaceted and multidimensional concept. Co-operatives should take this opportunity to lead in reshaping our global view of growth. And co-operatives have much to offer in arming a kit of values, concepts, and tools with which to measure growth in a meaningful way. This report also seeks to define how co-operatives can indeed become the “fastest growing” part of the economy by the end of the decade.
Co-operative Growth for the 21st Century was commissioned by the Alliance to CICOPA, the Alliance sectoral organisation for Industrial and Service Co-operatives.