Co-operatives Europe and the Centre for Young actors and managers in the social economy (CJDES) have released a new publication gathering contributions from 70 young co-operators. The report presents the existing youth networks from the four regions of the International Cooperative Alliance.
Titled Youth for #Coop: Cooperating Beyond Borders, the document highlights the tools, strengths, challenges and needs of each network to help young co-operators exchange good practices and foster co-operation.
The Alliance’s Youth Network was set up in 2003 to help young co-operators from across the world connect with each other. The publication follows on from the event Youth for #Coop: Cooperating Beyond Borders held at the International Summit of Cooperatives in Quebec.
In the publication foreword, Agnes Mathis, director of Cooperatives Europe, wrote: “The force of the co-operative movement resides in its capacity to meet the evolving needs of its members. Supporting initiatives of the new generation contributes to build towards a better co-operative future.”
In the document Gabriela Buffa, the youth representative on the Alliance’s board, also refers to the main trends in terms oh how young people perceive co-operatives.
She wrote: “The youth is too diverse and complex to be able to claim that all young people agree on one homogeneous vision towards the co-operative movement.
“However, we identify two main trends among younger generations - some consider the co-operative movement as out-dated, conservative, formal, and unable to breathe change at the global level. On the other hand, some consider co-operatives as an alternative to the conventional economic system, a solution to address their own problems, and to create a space for social, economic and political participation. There is much work to be done in order to collectively build a movement that all youth will perceive as a path to transform our societies.”