IMPACT 2018 Builds Connections and Inspires Renewed Energy Around the Cooperative Economy

Members of NCBA CLUSA’s Council of Cooperative Economists unpack new data on co-op economic impact.

Drawing more than 330 people from close to 200 organizations to Arlington, Virginia last week, NCBA CLUSA’s 2nd Annual Co-op IMPACT Conference was a unique opportunity for cooperators to coalesce around a pivotal moment—a chance to build a sustainable cooperative economy that leads to broader, more inclusive participation, connection and growth.

IMPACT 2018’s kick-off plenary, “Co-ops Matter: Cooperatives as Drivers of the Inclusive Economy” explored the unique economic advantages of co-ops across a variety of industries—from financial services to food and agriculture—and featured the latest research from NCBA CLUSA’s Council of Cooperative Economies.

Our Fall issue of the Cooperative Business Journal—available online at the end of the month—unpacks their findings. If you didn’t get an advance copy of this issue at IMPACT 2018, be sure to sign up now to get access to our annual IMPACT issue.

Again drawing a wide cross-section of co-op developers, financers, community and city leaders, innovators, economists and policymakers, IMPACT 2018 provided an unparalleled platform to inspire the cooperative movement and spur robust discussion

Members of NCBA CLUSA’s Cooperative Leaders and Scholars Institute are recognized during the Co-op IMPACT Conference.

A keynote from Quentin Kidd explored how co-ops are building social capital in an environment marked by sharply declining public trust in institutions, while a lunch plenary on the intersection of co-ops and big data illuminated how cooperatives—in which consumers not only provide, but also own their data—offer a path forward.

At this year’s Policy Breakfast, Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) received the first-ever Cooperative IMPACT Champion Award. Young co-sponsored Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)’s bipartisan Main Street Employee Ownership Act of 2018 and sits on the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

On Friday, Julie Cram, Deputy Assistant Administrator in the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment at the U.S. Agency for International Development, said co-ops are a natural partner to foster sustainable development and a stable, inclusive economy.

In the coming weeks, NCBA CLUSA will cover the plenary sessions of IMPACT 2018. Be sure to sign up for Co-op Weekly to get these updates delivered straight to your inbox!

And if you missed the 2018 Co-op IMPACT Conference, check out this photo album featuring some of this year’s key moments! We look forward to continuing last week’s robust conversations, connections and energy over the next year.

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