The International Year of Cooperatives has provided a powerful focal point for this form of economic organisation. It has raised the profile of cooperatives, in civil society and amongst governmental and inter-governmental bodies. These are significant achievements, but they need to be seen in the context of the dominant emerging trends that are likely to shape our politics, societies and economies for the foreseeable future. Some of the most crucial global problems are environmental degradation and resource depletion, an unstable financial sector, increasing inequality, a growing global governance gap and a loss of trust in political and economic organisations. Cooperatives already make a significant contribution towards alleviating these pressing global problems and they could contribute much more with the appropriate support, greater understanding and recognition.
The Blueprint strategy involves concentrating on 5 critical inter-linked themes, and establishing implementation strategies in relation to each of them:
Elevate participation within membership and governance to a new level
Position cooperatives as builders of sustainability
Build the cooperative message and secure the co-operative identity
Ensure supportive legal frameworks for co-operative growth
Secure reliable cooperative capital while guaranteeing member control
This document was considered in draft by the General Assembly of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) in Manchester in October 2012 (read the article written in the framework of this event here). Following comments and discussions (now reflected in this revised version) the Blueprint was approved by the General Assembly. CICOPA has actively participated in this consultation in order to arrive at this final document.
In particular, it highlights the development dimension related to sustainability, the importance of the democratic control in the strategy related to cooperative capital, the external communication and the public policies, as well as the development of the inter-cooperation between cooperatives.
Read the Final Blueprint for a Cooperative Decade in English here