International Cooperative Researchers Gather In Wellington

Press Release – NZASCM

“Building a Better World – The Role of Cooperatives and Mutuals in Economy and Society” is the title of a cooperative research conference to be held in Wellington, New Zealand, from 21–23 June 2012.New Zealand Association for the Study of Cooperatives and Mutuals

14 February 2012

“Building a Better World – The Role of Cooperatives and Mutuals in Economy and Society” is the title of a cooperative research conference to be held in Wellington, New Zealand, from 21–23 June 2012.

This conference is being organised by the New Zealand Association for the Study of Cooperatives and Mutuals in conjunction with the School of Economics and Finance at Victoria University of Wellington and the New Zealand Cooperatives Association.

The keynote speaker will be Michael L. Cook, Robert D. Partridge Professor of Cooperative Leadership Division of Applied Social Science University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA. There will also be two plenary panels at the conference.

The first plenary panel, on “Cooperative Banking in the Context of the Global Finance Crisis”, will consist of Grant Spencer, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand; Peter Sakora from Standard & Poors (Australia); Jonathan Logan, Senior Vice President, Corporate AgriBusiness Banking Group, CoBank (USA); and Hervé Guider, General Manager, European Association of Cooperative Banks (Belgium).

The second plenary panel will focus on “The Sustainability of Producer Cooperatives in New Zealand and Beyond”, and will consist of Professor Michael Cook (USA); Professor Nicola Shadbolt, Massey University College of Sciences and a director of Fonterra Cooperative Group; Jack Wilkinson, grain farmer and former President of the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (Canada); and Dave Bromwich, Vice-Chair of the International Committee for the Promotion of Chinese Industrial Cooperatives (New Zealand).

The UN has declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives. This conference is part of a series of activities aimed at understanding and promoting the cooperative business model. In addition, it is intended to identify and promote ongoing research on cooperatives. It will also serve as an initiative to build a community of experts and interested parties for ongoing collaboration, dialogue and research on cooperatives.

Whether they intend to present a paper or not, anyone is welcome to attend the conference.

Potential participants are asked to upload a one-page abstract of their conference paper by 1 April 2012 along with a CV through the Association’s website at http://nzascm.coop. They will be informed by 15 April 2012 if their paper has been accepted.

Submissions from graduate students are welcome.

The conference venue, Rydges Hotel, 75 Featherston St, Wellington, is close to the Pipitea Campus of Victoria University of Wellington. Wellington is the bustling cosmopolitan capital of New Zealand. Located at the southern tip of the North Island, it is the centre of government, business, and the arts, and the home to a vibrant academic community and culture. Cooperatives in New Zealand … and the world

* While there are just 200 member-owned businesses in New Zealand, they generate an aggregate revenue of more than $30bn

* Making up almost 10% of Management magazine’s Top 200, some of New Zealand’s best known businesses are cooperatives and mutuals, including our single largest — Fonterra Cooperative Group (www.management.co.nz/top200/)

* Other member-owned businesses include Foodstuffs (Pak’n’Save, New World, Four Square), Alliance Group, Silver Fern Farms, Mitre 10, Paper Plus, Ravensdown Fertiliser Cooperative, The Co•operative Bank, Southern Cross, the Automobile Association and Interflora (www.nz.coop/nzca-members)

* The world’s 300 largest cooperatives and mutuals, of which six are here in New Zealand, generated an aggregate revenue in 2008 of US$1.6 trillion (US$1,600 billion), which is comparable to the GDP of the world’s 9th largest economy (www.global300.coop)

* According to the International Labour Organisation, cooperatives provide more than 100 million jobs – more than all the world’s multinational corporations combined (www.ilo.org/coop)

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ENDS

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