At the close of its biennial global conference and General Assembly in November 2015, Dame Pauline Green will retire as President of the International Co-operative Alliance. As she retires, the Alliance is launching a Presidential Legacy Fund to propel the continuation of her vision.
During her six-year Presidency, the Alliance has undergone radical change, dramatically enhancing its representational role at the global level and launching a game-changing Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade. The order of magnitude of this change is demonstrated by the recent acknowledgement by the United Nations, in adopting the Sustainable Development Goals, of the 'role of the diverse private sector, ranging from micro-enterprises to co-operatives to multinationals'.
This recognition responds to one of the policy priorities Dame Pauline set forth for the co-operative movement when she launched the 2012 International Year of Co-operatives at a plenary session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York: that the co-operative model of business be given equal promotion with the stockholder model.
The United Nations's appreciation is emblematic, but change is occurring on every front. More co- operatives are now leading with their co-operative identity, adopting a .coop internet domain and using the recently established global Co-operative Marque as part of their face to the public. The Alliance is now launching a global marketing campaign to drive a definitive message behind those indicia of co-operative identity.
With the adoption of the Blueprint by the Alliance's members from 100 countries at the close of the Internatonal Year, the co-operative movement has an agreed and focused strategy to positioning co-operatives as central in the global economy. The early years of the Blueprint have focused on soliciting reflections from thought leaders on strategically selected topics and on gathering critical data to better understand the current state of the co-operative economy. The World Co-operative Monitor has become the definitive annual resource on co-operative growth in all sectors and regions.
The foundation is solid, and the conditions are favourable, but much work remains if the promise of the co-operative model is to be achieved. This decade has seen a remarkable expansion of the democratic spirit across the globe -- not without its challenges, but palpable and promising. A new generation is moving even further forward the tendency of the last to value collaboration over competition. The convergence of forces favourable to the embrace of the co-operative model is today stronger than it has been for a century. It is now for us to position co-operatives as central in this collaborative economy.
The second phase of the Blueprint, covering the second half of this decade, 2016-2020, builds on the deep thinking and data gathering of the early years to:
- Demonstrate how the co-operative model can help in governing the global 'Commons'
- Leverage the global priority on Sustainable Development Goals to advance co-operative work in this area
- Proactively combat demutualisation
- Establish the co-operative as an asset class for values-based impact investment
Recognising that potential of this significance requires focus and resources beyond routine structure and funding, the Alliance has launched the Presidential Legacy Fund to support current and future years' policy and positioning work, consistent with the overall direction of the Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade. This work has been a particular priority for Dame Pauline. The Presidential Fund is intended to acknowledge her vision and allow the co-operative community to demonstrate appreciation for and solidarity with that vision.
Contributions of any size are welcome and appreciated. Funds not needed to cover work in the year received will be reserved for future years. Contributions may be sent to:
Beneficiary: Alliance Coopérative Internationale
Bank Name: ING Belgium,
Bank Address: Avenue Marnix 24, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
IBAN: BE50 3631 4399 4318
In addition to enabling this vision to be achieved, contributors will receive recognition on the International Co-operative Alliance web site. For further information, contact Charles Gould, Director-General, International Co-operative Alliance, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Alliance thanks donors to the Presidential Legacy Fund, the All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives (China) and the National Cooperative Business Association (USA).