2012: International Year of Cooperatives
"Cooperative enterprises build a better world." This has been adopted as the official slogan of "2012: International Year of Cooperatives"—a United Nations declaration and a global campaign to educate the public and public officials about the benefits and potential of cooperatives. The International Year of Cooperatives (IYC) campaign presents a unique opportunity to build awareness of cooperatives in all fields of enterprise.
Across the globe, local and national cooperatives are being assisted by the International Cooperative Alliance in highlighting inspiring co-op stories. In the U.S., the campaign is being led by the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA), and its action plan is available at www.ncba.coop. In Canada, the Canadian Co-operative Association has launched www.canada2012.coop for this campaign. Co-ops UK is posting statements and resources at www.s.coop/ukguestblogs.
NCBA has prepared a communications toolkit for cooperatives that can adapt for local use the national and global messages being developed for the campaign. It includes a resolution that cooperatives can adopt at the annual meetings, a mayoral proclamation, and template press releases. The IYC Program Manager, Eric DeLuca, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Highlights of the U.S. action plan include:
- Raise the profile of cooperatives so that more Americans understand the value of joining cooperatives and doing business with them.
- Improve access to cooperative businesses by making it easier to find co-ops of all types.
- Educate and engage senior government leaders to improve legislative and policy conditions for cooperative businesses.
- Support studies that demonstrate the economic value of cooperative enterprise.
- Reach out to youth, cultivating new cooperative leaders. ν