How to engage youth in research? The ICA-AP Cooperative Research Conference responds

22 Feb 2021

The winners of the Dr Mauritz Bonow Young Researcher Awards 2020 were announced at the 15th ICA-AP Cooperative Research Conference in December 2020.

Created by ICA Domus Trust and ICA-AP in 2016, the Awards recognise young researchers who study issues relating to cooperatives. 

The first prize went to Abhishek Saxena, Research Fellow, Institute of Rural Management Anand, India, who was awarded US$500. His research looked at the challenges faced by producer organisations in regions susceptible to environmental degradation while trying to stay viable and benefit their members. Sreelaksmi C. C., Research Scholar, School of Management Studies, Cochin University of Science and Technology, India, received the second prize of US$300 for her study on the role of trust and cooperation in green banking.

Announcing the winners, Balasubramanian Iyer, Regional Director, ICA-AP, said that encouraging youth participation was an objective not just for the ICA-AP Research Conference, but also for other events. 

The 15th ICA-AP Cooperative Research Conference was held online on 17-18 December 2020. The event was organised by the the ICA-AP Committee on Cooperative Research (CCR), in collaboration with the Agricultural Cooperative Staff Training Institute (ACSTI), the Government of Kerala, ICA Domus Trust, the ICA-EU Partnership on Cooperatives in Development, and the Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society (ULCCS). The conference was attended by 80 participants from 12 countries, including researchers, policymakers, cooperative practitioners, young scholars, and students. 

The event included two young scholar and early career researchers workshops and three thematic research panels. ICA-AP CCR received 61 abstracts for the conference, 36 of which were shortlisted and called for presentation. Twelve research papers around the theme - climate action and cooperatives were presented on the second day of the conference.


The workshops for young scholars and early career researchers aimed to enhance interdisciplinary collaboration. They were an opportunity for scholars to present their research and receive constructive feedback and support from senior academic researchers in the field. The first session, chaired by Dr Y. Dongre, Associate Member, ICA-AP CCR, highlighted the general state of cooperative research in the region and looked at some of the work being done, including the Asia Pacific Cooperative Research Partnership, which originated in Bali in 2014.

ICA-AP Research

The second session laid out the vision for cooperative research in near future by presenting a framework for publications for young scholars and listing key areas of research such as values and principles; cooperative governance and member participation; cooperative business models and social innovations in times of crisis; contribution to the SDGs, cooperative statistics etc. 

The second day featured several presentations from leading academicians and researchers around the theme of climate action and cooperatives. 


The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) knows that…