Coops left out in the Alpine cold

The world’s most powerful people – well, quite a lot of them anyway – will be jetting off to the Alps this week for the annual Davos shindig.   Davos brings together businessmen (OK, business-people, but you can bet that most of them are men) and politicians.  Even the occasional trade unionist is there too. It is an important forum for taking stock of the issues facing the world and its leaders.

The International Co-operative Alliance has contacted me to invite me to write about what the ICA would like to contribute to the Davos debates (the two particular topics they’ve identified are the need for decent jobs, and the role of cooperatives in the delivery of social services).  But I think the real story is that the cooperative business world, despite contributing over two trillion US dollars to the world economy, is not being invited to join the Davos party.  With the possible exception of the Korean agricultural cooperative NACF (the ICA isn’t sure whether they will be there or not), coops are not represented at Davos this year.