ICA CCR Paris Research Conference focuses on creativity, innovation

27 May 2015

The role of creativity and innovation in the success of the co-operative model was the theme of the International Co-operative Alliance research conference in Paris, which took place from 27 to 30 May 2015.

About 150 co-op researchers and practitioners from 37 countries attended the conference, which was co-sponsored by Coop FR, AgroParisTech and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA).  A total of 24 participants were from France, while other well-represented countries included Canada, Korea, Brazil, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain, United States, Greece, Finland, Poland, Israel, Netherlands and Russia.

The conference featured 90 speakers, panelists and presenters, who dealt with topics ranging from innovation in agricultural co-operatives to co-operative governance to financing co-operatives and the social economy.  There was also a keynote session on the Guidance Notes for the Co-operative Principles, focusing on co-operative identity, member economic participation, and education.

“Creativity, innovation and research are the main subjects and co-operatives are very much related to those,” said Simeon Karafolas, who represented the Scientific Committee of ICA Europe and the Committee on Co-operative Research at the conference’s opening ceremony. “Just see, for example, how many creative and innovative ideas work on a co-operative basis.”

The Paris conference built upon the 2014 research conference in Pula, Croatia and the 2013 conference in Nicosia, Cyprus.   It was a prelude to the research conference on Co-operatives and the World of Work organized by the Alliance and the International Labour Organization, which will be held in Antalya, Turkey on 8-10 November 2015.