CCR European Research Conference: Cooperatives and the transformation of business and society


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From the 21st until the 23rd of August, Cooperatives Europe attended the ICA-CCR European Research Conference 2019 in Berlin, Germany. For three days, this event brought together the most renowned scholars of cooperative studies. The team had the opportunity to present their latest pieces of work within the ICA-EU partnership (#coops4dev) and to attend enriching sessions.

Cooperatives as agents of transformation 

Organised along with Humboldt University, this year’s theme was ‘Cooperatives and the Transformation of Business and Society’ and aimed at discussing the role of cooperative organizations in ongoing transformations. 

The main topics discussed included the role of organizations based on voluntary membership, economic cooperation and democratic rule in key areas such as business transformation, sustainable resource management, the democratization of service infrastructures, or civil society activation. The role of cooperatives as contributors to the Sustainable Development Goals was a recurring theme of discussion.

Conference participants also discussed and presented on how cooperatives manage changes as well as how cooperatives influence the speed by which members and communities are affected by change. Across societal and organizational levels, participants discussed the role of cooperative networks and associations as potential knowledge brokers and co-designers of the process of transformation. 

A showcase of #coops4dev’s latest work 

The conference was attended by Cooperatives Europe’s staff, and the #coops4dev team,  including Arielle Romenteau, Research Coordinator of Cooperatives Europe and Jeffrey Moxom, ICA Research Officer, who presented Cooperatives Europe’s latest publication ‘Cooperatives and Peace: a Case Study Approach’.   

The following day, during the Cooperative Law Forum, the research team also presented the state of play on the ongoing #coops4dev Legal Framework Analysis, a global member-centered research on cooperative law implemented by all ICA regions. It aims to produce clear tools for advocacy, knowledge building and networking activities, and to advocate for an enabling environment that is beneficial to cooperatives.

In another session PhD student of Laval University (Canada) Louis Cousin gave a presentation on the potential of cooperatives in the digital era, highlighting previous research of Cooperatives Europe on collaborative economy.

Recorded at the conference, a new episode of the ICA’s podcast ‘Further Together’ will be soon be made available with guests including Professor Hagen Henry of the University of Helsinki in Finland; Arielle Romenteau of Cooperatives Europe and Dr. Sonja Novkovic, of the Sobey School of Business of Saint Mary’s University in Canada, moderated by Santosh Kumar and Jeffrey Moxom. Find other episodes on Spotify. 

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