“Co-operatives are increasing their contribution to economic, social and environmental sustainability”


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“Co-operatives are increasing their contribution to economic, social and environmental sustainability”

Bruno Roelants was recently appointed Director-General of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA). With more than 30 years of experience in the international co-operative movement, he explains to us in this interview what the central strands of his administration will be.

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What will be your priorities as the administrative head of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)?

The first priority is to listen to what the members say. This was agreed at the International Co-operative Alliance General Assembly held last November in Kuala Lumpur when a new President, Ariel Guarco, as well as a new Board, were elected. This is why we have embarked on a process of surveys that will give us a clear understanding of what the members want and need from the ICA. The second priority is to help the new ICA Board draw up a strategy proposal for the coming years that will be put before members, the sectors of the ICA and the regions.

In your opinion, what are the main challenges faced by the co-operative movement over the coming years?

One substantial initial challenge is to keep the way in which co-operatives do business unchanged while at the same time, in spite of all the difficulties involved, remain competitive within the context of a globalised economy. A second challenge is to be a force for peace, social cohesion and the creation of employment despite conflicts, social tensions and the difficult employment situation around the world. Lastly, the challenge to be a force for environmental change while combining vthese three dimensions of development at all times (economic, social and environmental).

In a recent study, published by the IHCO, it was found that health co-operatives are remarkably capable atadapting to different geographical and socio-economic contexts. Do you think that this is an inherent characteristic of the co-operative business model? Why?

You can read more questions on the page 16 of our Compartir Magazine.





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