IYC 2012 AT THE CENTRE
Centre for the Study of Co-operatives Celebrates the Launch
of the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives
- Co-operating to Build a Better West Conference, Saskatoon, November 1-3 (official website)
- Program and Presenters’ PowerPoints
- Photo Gallery
Today, 12 January 2012, thousands of co-op and credit union members across Canada are holding events to officially launch the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives, proclaimed in recognition of the contributions co-operatives make to the social and economic development of communities around the world. The Centre for the Study of Cooperatives at the University of Saskatchewan, along with individuals, groups, and organizations around the world, has planned a number of events to celebrate this milestone in the life of the co-op movement, which claims more than 18 million members in Canada and more than a billion members worldwide.
The Centre’s activities will kick off Wednesday, 25 January, with the first in a series of seminars celebrating the achievements of co-operatives locally, nationally, and internationally. Join us at 4pm in the Diefenbaker Building’s Prairie Room on the U of S campus to hear Jean-Emmanuel Bouchard, president of the Quebec Federation of School Cooperatives, explain “The Boomerang Effect: How Quebec’s School Co-ops Are Training the Next Generation of Co-operators.” On Thursday, 16 February, Jannie Leung, last year’s F.J.H. Fredeen Memorial Scholarship winner, will make a presentation based on her thesis research on fair trade coffee co-operatives in Nicaragua. And in March, building on Jannie’s work, Michael Zelmer, Director of Communications for Fair Trade Canada, will discuss “How the Fair Trade and Organic Coffee Markets Support Forested Ecosystems on Nicaraguan Coffee Farms.” Watch the Centre’s website for further information.
Another significant undertaking to celebrate the international year will see the reconfiguration of our museum-quality exhibit, Building Community: Creating Social and Economic Well-Being, into smaller components for circulation to communities in Northern Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. The exhibit, composed of nearly one hundred illustrated panels, encourages visitors to imagine what is possible in their communities and illustrates how to make those dreams become a reality. Check out the virtual exhibit on our website and watch for the exhibit in a community near you.
Plans are already underway for a major conference titled Co-operating to Build a Better West, which will take place 1–3 November 2012 at the Radisson Hotel in Saskatoon. The conference will focus on best co-operative practices and policies, and on new co-op models and successful start-ups. The event will provide an occasion to revisit our history and to consider how co-operatives can support local development, encourage participation, and contribute to lasting prosperity in the context of new economic, social, and political realities. Organizing partners include the Centre, the Johnson-Shoyama School of Public Policy, the Saskatchewan Co-operative Association, and le Conseil de la Coopération de la Saskatchewan. For more information, visit the conference website.
Other plans include inviting co-op sector CEOs to the university for presentations, and a number of initiatives around campus co-operatives and student scholarships. Watch our website for updates on further details as the year unfolds and join us in celebrating the International Year of Co-operatives 2012!
Flag Raising at Saskatoon City Hall to Recognize IYC 2012
Co-operative Week of Volunteering / June 1, 2012
The festive atmosphere of the official flag raising ceremony at City Hall in recognition of the International Year of Co-operatives 2012 Co-operative Week of Volunteering was made all the more pleasurable by the beautiful, sunny weather lending credence to the phrase, Saskatoon shines!
Victoria Morris, Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Co-operative Association welcomed the group that gathered for the celebration. Councillor Bev Dubois brought greetings from the city of Saskatoon on behalf of Mayor Atchison and recognized the contributions co-operatives make to our citizens. Beryl Bauer, Director of Federated Co-operatives Limited, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Saskatchewan Co-operative Association and our host for this event, addressed the crowd and, with Councillor Dubois, raised the International Year of Co-operatives flag, which will fly in front of City Hall during the Co-operative Week of Volunteering.
Now get out there and demonstrate your co-operative values by making the world a better place. Next week I hope to post some photos of those who were unable to attend the flag raising because they were already voluntarily planting a community garden that will provide fresh, healthy produce for some of Saskatoon’s neediest families.