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12th ICA-AP Regional Co-operative Research Conference to focus on co-ops as social innovators

09 Jun 2017

Co-operatives as key solutions for social innovation is the theme for this year’s ICA-AP Regional Co-operative Research Conference. With innovation being an increasingly popular idea in science, technology and business, the event will examine the role of co-operatives in driving innovation to address social challenges.

The 12th edition of the conference will take place on 11-12 November in Seoul, the Republic of Korea. The event is being organised by the ICA-AP Committee on Co-operative Research, which will be hosted by the Department of Management of Cooperatives at the Graduate School in Sungkonghoe University, Seoul, Korea.

“The governance, the principles and the social effect of co-operatives go hand-in-hand with the aim of social innovation,” according to the ICA-AP Committee on Co-operative Research.

“Co-ops meet social needs that are not fulfilled by the markets through collective engagement. The collective thinking and democratic decision-making processes let members participate voluntarily in problem solving. This brings about the inner and external innovation, which actually impacts the social change in progress. Therefore it is imperative to examine co-operatives as leading social innovators.”

The organisers are encouraging scholars and practitioners to submit abstracts for papers and session proposals centred on, but not limited to, co-operative and social innovation in: economy; education; entrepreneurship; finance; sustainable energy and environment; culture and art; fundraising; housing; information and digital technology; health and social care; food; and media.

In addition, the International Labour Organization (ILO) will support one travel award for the best submission on a world of work topic. Submissions should focus on the theme of the conference and can touch upon areas related to co-operatives and labour laws (legislation, compliance, regulation, statistics), organisation forms (trade unions, employers’ organisations), employment creation (decent work, youth, gender, value chains), transformation (formalising workers in the informal economy, enterprise restructuring and labour in transition economies) and social concerns (social protection, social dialogue, child labor, forced labor).

The ILO is particularly welcoming submissions from researchers, students, practitioners and activists from the Global South, the Arab States and countries less represented at the research conference. Abstracts should be sent by 28 July 2017 to Ashok Kumar Taneja at taneja@icaroap.coop .

In addition to the ILO’s travel award, the ICA-AP Research Committee will present the Dr Mauritz Bonow Young Researcher Award. This accolade will be awarded to two researchers under 35 years of age presenting their papers in the conference. The winners will receive USD $500 and USD $300 respectively.

The conference is aimed at researchers, policy makers, practitioners, students, social enterprise and social economy sectors wishing to share their experience of co-operatives involved in social innovation.