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09 Dec 2020

The 33rd ICA World Cooperative Congress in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, is now less than a year away. Due to take place on 1-3 December, the Congress will explore why the cooperative identity is needed now more than ever.

Using the current global crisis as a framework, discussions will deepen the cooperative identity by examining its values, strengthening its actions, committing to its principles and living its achievements. Find out more about the Congress programme here.

“We have evidence going back hundreds of years that shows us cooperation is not only for emergencies,” said ICA President Ariel Guarco. “Cooperation is a proven way to build a fairer, more balanced and a fundamentally less fragile economy in the face of global challenges. I look forward to engaging in many discussions in Seoul and showing the world that the cooperative way can lead us to a stronger future.”

Delegates will also get the chance to see how cooperatives in South Korea are putting their cooperative identity into action. In a recent interview, Park Cha Hoon, President of the Council of Korean Cooperatives, explained why attendees should be excited about coming to Seoul. Read his interview here.

The Congress will follow the UN’s Climate Change Conference - COP26. Ben Reid, ICA Board Member and former CEO of the Midcounties Cooperative shares his views on how cooperation can help to tackle climate change and create millions of new jobs. Thought leadership articles by cooperative leaders will be featured every month on the Congress website.

Watch: Journey to Congress 

To mark the one-year journey to Congress , proud cooperators shared their views on why the cooperative identity brings strength and resilience, and how our global society needs cooperative values and principles more than ever today.

Photo competition: one month, one cooperative value

In the run-up to the Congress, cooperators and photographers from around the world can also take part in the #CoopSnapShot photo competition. The contest will run every month until November 2021, with the grand winner to be announced right before the Congress. November’s winner was iCoop Korea, a federation of consumer cooperatives which submitted a photo of a mother and daughter attending the general meeting of one of its member cooperatives. The daughter will learn at a young age the importance of getting her voice heard.

December’s theme is Solidarity. Winners will be announced by the 31st of every month and will be entered into the final competition next year. The best photos will be featured on the Congress website, ICA website, and also promoted widely via ICA’s social media channels.

To participate, email your photo to Multiple entries are allowed. Terms and conditions of the competition can be found here

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