As the global cooperative community gears up for the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA)’s 33rd World Cooperative Congress in December, cooperators in the Americas will meet virtually this week to discuss their region’s contributions to an inclusive, sustainable recovery in the wake of COVID-19.
Under the theme “+People +Planet + Prosperity,” the 22nd Regional Conference of Cooperatives of the Americas will address the economic and social impact of the pandemic, and how the co-op movement has responded by acting on its values, principles and identity.
On Thursday, November 4, NCBA CLUSA will participate in two concurrent sessions from 1:45-3 pm Costa Rica time. “International Cooperative Development: Adaptation and Innovation During the Pandemic” will feature Oscar Inocente, NCBA CLUSA’s Cooperative Development Program (CDP) Country Director in Peru; Nataly Fabrikantova CDP Cooperative Marketing Coach and Communications Specialist; and Francisco Donoso, Country Director of NCBA CLUSA’s Farmer-to-Farmer and CDP programs in Ecuador. Among other innovations, this session will highlight how NCBA CLUSA is working with cacao and coffee cooperatives to market their products online.
At the same time on Thursday, NCBA CLUSA will introduce its cooperative law reform facilitation work in Guatemala, Peru and Ecuador, using the U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council (OCDC)-developed CLARITY toolkit. Featuring cooperative leaders from Guatemala sharing observations in their own words, this session will illustrate how NCBA CLUSA is facilitating co-op law reforms, despite new challenges posed by COVID-19.
Then on Friday, November 5 from 8:45-9:30 am Costa Rica time, Carla Decker, president and CEO of DC Credit Union and chair of NCBA CLUSA’s Board of Directors, will moderate a keynote panel called “Climate Change, Food Systems and Migration: Causes, Links and Solutions from the Regional Partners Agenda.” As a member of Cooperatives of the America’s Executive Committee, Decker will frame the discussion with a focus on how cooperatives should be part of any solution to climate change.
Finally, on November 5 from 10:45 am-12:15 pm Costa Rica time, NCBA CLUSA president and CEO Doug O’Brien will be part of a panel called, “Contributions and Priorities from the Sub-Regional Events of Cooperatives of the Americas.” O’Brien will share the outcomes of a listening session co-hosted by NCBA CLUSA on September 20 that featured cooperatives from North America and the Caribbean on how co-ops responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.