New strategies for Co-operatives

5 May 2016

The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) 2016 international research conference “New strategies for Co-operatives: Understanding and Managing Co-operative Creation” will be held from the 24th to the 27th of May in the Palacio del Congresos en El Toyo, Almeria, Spain.

Euricse contributed to the scientific planning of the event and eight researchers will attend the conference. Giulia Galera, Jacopo Sforzi, Carlo Borzaga, Chiara Carini, Michela Giovannini, Silvia Sacchetti, Eddi Fontanari and Yiorgos Alexopoulos will present their research with nine papers during five different sessions. Moreover, Giulia Galera and Jacopo Sforzi will coordinate a special session dedicated to “The role of Cooperatives in promoting the interest of the community”  (Wednesday the 25th of May, 11:15-13:00), while another session coordinated by Giulia Galera will be dedicated to the European project INT.RE.COOP (Friday the 27th of May, 9:00-10:30).

ica20162The theme of the ICA 2016 Almería conference is about understanding and managing cooperative creation, transition and transformation. This translates into understanding how cooperatives, their institutions, and their enabling environments must manage change and growth both internally and externally and identify the strategies needed to contribute to resilience and success. Competitive and volatile markets are not the only concern, since societal needs and challenges are also constantly evolving.

“In researching and analysing cooperatives we often tend to think about cooperatives with respect to their defined sectors and objectives as agricultural or credit cooperatives, consumer, worker, social cooperatives, etc. But this conference wanted to also highlight change, transition and transformation dynamic processes, both internally and externally. For example, we have sessions on governance and also strategies that are not based on a particular kind of cooperative, but rather the phase of development in which cooperatives find themselves. We hope the sessions structured in this way can enhance researchers´ and policy makers´approach to cooperative research and create cross-innovations. We also wanted to distinguish the level at which we need to consider our research.  Transition and transformation occurs at all 3 levels and the inter-relationship between the various stages of development and levels needs to be considered.  Using the conference framework will allow us to provide a more complete analysis of understanding and managing cooperative success across a wide range of contexts and institutional environments.” (Dr. Cynthia Giagnocavo, principal organizer of the conference and co-director of the Cátedra COEXPHAL)

Dr. Cynthia Giagnocavo, expected that there would be an interest in a cooperative conference in Almería, but was still pleased at the enthusiastic response and the high quality of the submissions as well as the fact that submissions took into account the framework of various stages of cooperative development.

The scientific committee, made up of international cooperative experts, reviewed over 269 submissions. In all, 160 papers and 23 posters were accepted. The conference will last three days and will be divided into 31 sessions involving 160 speakers from over 30 countries.

The Almería agricultural cooperatives UNICA Group, Vicasol, CASI and Murgiverde are sponsors as is the Québec 2016 Summit on Cooperatives. BioSabor, an organic vegetable marketing cooperative, will arrange a visit for delegates in their new installations.

The University of Almería is arranging live streaming of certain key lectures, via the UAL and ICA websites. of the.

The semi-final version of the conference program is on-line on the conference website.