Keynote speakers announced for the cooperative research conference in Europe

06 Apr 2018

This year’s regional research conference will examine co-operatives in a rapidly changing world, it is organised by the European branch of the Committee of Co-operative Research. 


The conference, to be held on 4-6 July at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, will bring together co-operative researchers and practitioners from around the world. Topics will include: innovations in internal governance; the rise of producer organisations; resilience and sustainability of the co-operative model; strengthening member commitment; financial and sustainability performance; co-operative education; statistics on co-operatives; co-operatives and changing labour relations; co-operatives and big data. The conference will be opened by the Director General of the International Co-operative Alliance, Bruno Roelants. 

One of the keynote speakers, Wiebe Draijer, chair of Rabobank, will look at the 200-year history of European financial co-operatives. 2018 has been named the The Raiffeisen Year, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen, the founder of co-operative banking. The conference will continue with a panel discussion on Future Challenges and Solutions for Cooperatives.

Another keynote speaker, Simel Esim, Head of the Cooperatives Unit at the International Labour Organization in Geneva, will focus on co-operation in the changing world of work given the global search for new forms of business and growth models. She will reflect on the march of technology and the impact of climate change on demographics, production and employment. She will provide an overview of emerging response to these changes by co-operatives and other social and solidarity economy enterprises, such as worker buyouts, platform co-ops, and co-ops working in renewable energy social care.

And Prof Murray Fulton, from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, will look at the latest trends in research on co-operatives. His speech will be followed by a panel discussion of co-operative performance and statistics.

More information about the conference is available here.

  Photo: Wageningen University where the conference is taking place (c) Wageningen University


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