The first CCR Young & Emerging Scholars’ (CCR-YES) meeting

15 Mar 2024
CCR-YES meeting

The first CCR Young & Emerging Scholars’ (CCR-YES) meeting was held on 13 March 2024 online. After a first presentation of the network by Camilla Carabini, CCR YES representative, the participants presented themselves: 34 participants from 4 different continents, shared their research interests and expectations from the networks. 

As for research interests, the group reflected a multi and interdisciplinary approach to the understanding a cooperative economics across various disciplines: economics, finance, engineering, sociology, anthropology. 

Different types of cooperatives were mentioned as for being researched: agricultural cooperatives, financial co-ops, platform cooperatives, workers co-ops, social cooperatives (work integration type-b co-ops), housing co-ops, energy coops, and teachers co-ops. 

Among the more recurring issues the group emphasized sustainability (and SDGs), democratic governance, entrepreneurship, degrowth and post-growth value creation, how cooperative can tackle climate change, alternative management and governance structures, cooperative law, social economy. 

Participants shared their expectations and aspirations around the network.

  • Networking was the most recurrent answer, as participants aimed to build professional relationships, share experiences, and create a supportive community within the cooperative research field. Moreover, members expressed their willingness to exchange views and perspectives, emphasizing the importance of cooperative learning and collective knowledge-building. They expressed a desire to learn together, recognizing that shared experiences and insights can lead to deeper understanding and innovative approaches to research. They also sought to establish connections with national research groups, viewing this as an opportunity to foster partnerships and engage in meaningful knowledge exchange.



The current activities of the network were presented:

  • Social Media Engagement: The network utilizes Telegram and LinkedIn for social media engagement. On Telegram and LinkedIn, there are two open groups for sharing any important research-related news on cooperative research. Additionally, on Telegram there are two private groups for CCR-YES members only to share confidential or organizational information, or seek each other’s support. 
  • ICA CCR Conferences and YES Workshops: The upcoming conferences organized by ICA CCR in Dundee, Scotland (24-26 June 2024) and Kerala, India (date TBC) were presented as well as the workshops for young and emerging scholars and the opportunities for fundings provided by INET.
  • COOP Frontiers Webinars: The network is planning a series of webinars called COOP Frontiers to discuss pressing topics in cooperative research. The format includes participation from one YES members, one senior scholar, and one practitioner. The 
  • Engagement with Young and Emerging Scholars in other conferences: Camilla emphasized the importance of engaging young scholars from other networks involved in cooperative research, seeking ways to encourage their participation and involvement in the network's activities.

Following the discussion, several proposals for different initiatives emerged from the participants:

  • Private Zoom Networking Sessions: It was suggested to organize private Zoom sessions more frequently to facilitate learning from each other. These sessions could focus on understanding each participant's main research interests, the methodologies used, and the types of cooperatives they are studying. They would foster a deeper understanding of the diverse research within the network and promote knowledge exchange.
  • Reading Group: Another proposal was to establish a reading group with a small number of participants. This group would cover topics of mutual interest, such as classics on broader subjects like degrowth, considering the interdisciplinary nature of the participants.
  • Synthetic Document for Visibility: With 2025 designated as the International Year of Cooperatives, there was a suggestion to create a manifesto or a concise document collectively. This document would highlight how the network can contribute to the cooperative movement, focusing on cooperative identity, post-growth approaches, and decolonizing cooperatives. Starting with a literature review within the network the aim could be to showcase the interdisciplinary benefits of cooperatives and envision their role in society over the next two decades, providing both inspiration and a strategic vision for future research contributions.

The idea of developing a Network Document (manifesto, position paper, concept paper) for 2025 International Year of Cooperatives was met with enthusiasm by the majority of the participants, particularly as it can integrate the previously proposed ideas of regular private Zoom sessions and reading groups.

Prior to planning the next CCR-YES meeting (which should be scheduled by the end of May or beginning of June), the network should collectively decide on an inspiring text to read. This book/paper will serve as the focal point for the network discussions, helping them to delve into key ideas that they wish to incorporate into the Manifesto. Moreover, this discussion will aid in outlining the structure of the document and guide us on how we want to approach its creation.

Next steps

One or a few inspiring texts will be collectively read: the network will ask to share proposal by Monday, the 18th March. So that by the end of March the Network will decide which text to read and schedule a date for next meeting.

Anyone interested in contributing to the Task Force responsible for coordinating ideas for the Coop Frontiers Webinars and developing a strategy to engage with young and emerging scholars at other conferences, can reach out to Camilla and share their availability in terms of time and resources. 

Camilla Carabini
CCR YES representative