Co-operatives and sustainable development

Based upon a four point rating scale, how would you rate the potential of cooperatives and the cooperative movement to the achievement…. Of ending poverty?  Of empowering girls and women and achieving gender equality?  Of managing natural resource assets sustainably?  Of ensuring stable and peaceful societies?

I am quoting four of the questions in a new online Survey Monkey questionnaire,  details of which arrived in an email yesterday.  It seems to me that each of these questions (and there are several more) deserves rather more than the few seconds that most respondents will probably give.  We are asked to complete so many surveys these days that we tend to dash through them in the same way as we tackle those inevitable feedback sheets after courses and conferences: give that a 2, put a 3 there, mark that as 4…

But the aim behind the survey – to focus on the role which coops can play globally in sustainable development – is clearly a worthwhile one.  The initiative comes from the Cooperatives Unit at the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Cooperative Alliance, who are keen to make sure coops’ voices are heard in the aftermath of last year’s Rio+20 UN conference on sustainable development, as the world edges its way to agreement on a set of new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Coop businesses should be leading the way here.  I wonder to what extent they can really set the agenda?

By the way, this is the link you need to that survey.

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