I just met with the Executive Director for the Ontario Co-operative Association (based in Guelph) to discuss 2012 and the International Year of Co-operatives (IYC).
We will be hearing more about co-operatives in the year to come and how co-operative enterprises build a better world. The United Nations General Assembly made the declaration on December 18 2009 “recognizing that co-operatives in their various forms, promote the fullest possible participation in the economic and social development of all people…”.
Guelph has a long history of co-operative enterprise. There are over 30 co-operatives in Guelph employing over 1300 people.
The Canadian objectives for IYC are to increase awareness of co-operatives, build the co-operative movement and its capacity and encourage legacy initiatives that will outlive 2012. We discussed how Guelph might be part of achieving these objectives. Given our history and the cluster of co-operative expertise and enterprise in Guelph, I think we could do something that advances each objective.