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Cooperativa Obrera at the World Forum Lille: cooperatives show how enterprises can empower people

23 November 2012

Cooperativa Obrera from Argentina participated at a workshop at the World Forum Lille, organized by Cooperatives Europe. The title of the workshop organized at one of the world largest forums for socially responsible enterprises was ‘Empowering people around the world through the cooperative enterprise model'. Two cooperatives from Europe and Latin America presented concrete examples to the delegates of the cooperative difference in this area.

Mariano Glas, the Supermarket Manager of Obrera in Argentina, spoke of the need for society to understand that ‘the cooperative sector is not a marginal sector, we are enterprises of people, not capital. Our most important role is to serve our members, not just generate profit’.

Dirk Vansintjan, Founder of Ecopower Belgium, showed how the cooperative model can be used as an effective part of the energy transition to renewable sources. He said ‘when people are more connected to renewable energy cooperatives, they dramatically reduce their energy consumption. We have seen a drop of 38%. This can show the difference that truly empowering citizens through the cooperative ownership model can have.’ He added that ‘we all have a choice about what difference we want to make.’

Several other cooperatives also took part in the conference, showing the increasing recognition of the importance of cooperatives in the new responsible economy.

You can find this presentation and the others here.

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