You can’t fault the organisers of next week’s Cooperative Summit in Québec (the Canadian financial coop Desjardins) for falling down on the publicity. For weeks now, there’s been a steady drizzle of email bulletins and press releases in my mailbox.
This is the second such Summit in Québec (the first being two years ago during the UN Year of Co-operatives) and I hope it’s successful. There’s a very considerable need to strengthen at international level the sense that cooperatives share something in common, and that perhaps in the cooperative business model we have something which is worth acknowledging and celebrating.
Creating that sense of a shared agenda for the future is not easy, however, given the heterogeneity of the movement. Events like Québec (even though because of the costs involved they exclude the vast majority of cooperative activists) should have a role to play in trying to build up a genuine international movement.
I will be making the journey to see for myself how the event develops and will try to report here my impressions. The opening events are next Monday and the Summit finishes on Thursday.