Co-operators from around the world are set for a varied programme at the International Co-operative Alliance’s Global Conference and General Assembly in South Africa.
Around two thousand co-operators are expected to attend the sessions, which will run from November 1-5 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
The theme, "A Co-operative Decade In Action", will be the common thread throughout the week. Delegates will be asked to consider not only how the co-operative movement can grow itself, but also how it can contribute to sustainability and equality.
The programme begins on Friday November 1 with closed sessions for the ICA Board Committees, Thematic Committee Executives, Sectoral Organisation Executives and Regional Boards.
On November 2 the ICA Board and Sectoral Organisation Assemblies will meet, and the Youth Network will hold their elections, in closed sessions.
The rest of the conference, which will take place over the following three days, is open to all. It will focus on the five critical areas identified in the Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade - participation, sustainability, identity, legal frameworks and capital.
After an initial plenary session on the Blueprint, the Assembly will break into parallel sessions to look in detail at food, community services, communication, economy and education. Delegates will be able to explore topics as diverse as the power of branding, micro-credit and co-op banking for development and the role of retail and consumer co-ops in food distribution.
Round table discussions, for example on establishing a framework for the cooperative decade, will complement the themed workshops.
The ICA General Assembly will take place between parallel sessions on Monday November 4.
On November 5, the final day the conference, delegates will come together once again for plenary sessions on participation and identity, capital and legal framework and sustainability, and finally to draw conclusions and plan actions.
The ICA event will be followed by the ICMIF conference, which is the ICA’s sectoral body for the insurance sector, from 6-8 November. The ICMIF event will be a global gathering of mutual and co-operative insurance leaders.
• To find out more about the Cape Town event, visit: www.capetown2013.coop