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Know the keynote speakers at the II Cooperative Summit of the Americas – Panama, 2012

22 May 2012

There are plenty of reasons to attend the II Cooperative Summit of the Americas in Panama. Some people will seek to establish new contacts and share experiences. There will also be those who will participate as a way to help give more visibility to their cooperatives and the movement as a whole. But there is no doubt all of them share one reason: their desire to learn. Those who attend the II Cooperative Summit will have the opportunity to listen to outstanding personalities of international prominence that will address in their conferences, the themes that matter to cooperatives in the region and the world today.

From May 28 to June 1, the largest regional event of the International Year of Cooperatives will be held in Panama.The II Cooperative Summit aims to thoroughly analyze the theme “Sustainable development with social equity”. These are the keynote speakers at the II Cooperative Summit of the Americas:

Dame Pauline Green, President of the International Co-operative Alliance, the first female President of the ICA, will be in charge the opening conference. Green has been an active figure in the international cooperative movement for more than three decades; from her participation in the youth movement to her role as the main spokesperson on European Affairs to the European Parliament, as a cooperative member of Parliament.

Her conference will be focused on three issues of vital importance to cooperatives around the world and particularly in our region: social equity, sustainable development and good governance practices.

Charles Gould, ICA Director General, will focus on the International Year of Cooperatives and the future of the International Co-operative Alliance. Mr Gould came to ICA after serving as the CEO of Volunteers of America, a Washington-based health care, housing, and human services organization, where he provided strategic leadership to 16,000 full-time staff and directed $1 billion in annual turnover. Prior to that experience, he practised law at Arnold & Porter and at Hogan & Hartson law firms. Mr Gould has a JD (Juris Doctor) degree from the University of Minnesota Law School and an Mst (Master of Studies) in International Human Rights Law from Oxford University.

Gerardina González Marroquín, ILO Deputy Director of the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, will give her speech titled: Resilience of the cooperative business model in crises and the role of the State.

The Costa Rican Gonzalez-Marroquín is an agronomist engineer, lawyer, notary and has a specialization in agricultural economics. In her position at the ILO Regional Office, she has worked intensely for decent work, trying to generate wealth and welfare with equity.

The keynote speech of Samí Naïr, Director of the Andalusí Mediterranean Center of the Pablo de Olavide University in Seville, will focus on the challenge of globalization: Cooperative enterprises versus transnational societies.

According to Naïr, globalization is "essentially a non-egalitarian and conflictive system", so it necessarily implies a major challenge for the cooperative movement, whose principles and values are against such characteristics.

Also, the vast experience of Gianluca Salvatore, Executive Director of Euricse, will be crucial to help participants of his Conference understand how deep the impact of cooperative can be in the lives of millions of people, especially in these times of crisis. Entitled: "Promoting understanding of cooperatives for a better world", this conference will address ways to achieve a greater understanding of cooperatives, one of the main challenges for this year 2012.

The closing conference: The power of cooperatives in the collective efforts of social transformation will be delivered by a renowned Argentine.

The Ph.d. in Economics Bernardo Kliksberg, known as the founder of a new discipline, the Social Management, is a pioneer of the "ethics for development". In his lecture, Kliksberg will give attendees the keys to understand the power of the cooperative movement to achieve the other possible world we are looking for.

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