Imagine 2012 - International Conf on Coop Economics

The Official Pre-Sumit event prior to the International Summit of Cooperatives held at the same venue.

The conference: Imagine 2012 is designed to bring together the leadership of the world’s major co-operatives and leading economic thinkers from around the world. Imagine 2012 will provide a forum in which co-operative leaders and world-class economists can explore a new approach to economic analysis and thought that offers people around the world renewed hope for an economy that meets people’s needs.


Conference Rationale and Background

One of the essential tools co-operatives need is an understanding of how our economy works from a co-operative perspective. (We also need to try and understand how the ‘capital and investor centred economy’ works but there is no shortage of that analysis and too often that analysis is contradictory, inaccurate and not helpful to meeting human need.) The purpose of co-operatives is meeting human need. Much of the neo-liberal economics, which has dominated the past few decades, is focused on the creation of wealth without regard as to whether the wealth created meets even the most basic needs of humanity.

In 2007 most economists told us the global ‘economy’ was very healthy. That year 1.3 million children starved to death and many millions suffered from severe malnutrition. In Canada, twenty percent of our children lived below the poverty line but we were assured “the fundamentals of our economy are very sound.” Also, at the same time that the economy was supposedly thriving, more and more of the earth was being laid to waste by the ravages of the economy.

Prevailing economic thought, with a few notable exceptions, is too often focused on numbers and indices that simply measure growth or capital creation. Whether that growth is generated by the provision of food, clothing or shelter or cleaning up a massive oil spill, increasing prison populations or resulting in other massive negative impacts, is seen as not relevant. It assumes the only goal of human activity is financial self-interest. Economic policy, by government or business, based on such analysis is not good for our world, our co-operatives or their members and communities. Coupled with the dominance of investor owned business, a structure focused on one overriding bottom line, the narrow capital-based approach to economics and business compresses the human spirit. The result is bad theory, policy and practice.

for more information go to the Imagine 2012 Website

For the presenters, look here.


Saturday, October 6, 2012 - 9:00am to Monday, October 8, 2012 - 5:00pm