Young Cooperators of the continent held the Regional Youth Meeting in Costa Rica: YOUTH 4.0
The Regional Youth Committee of Cooperatives of the Americas (CRJ) and the Cooperative Youth of the Americas successfully held the Regional Youth Meeting of Cooperatives of the Americas “Youth 4.0: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Communication and Advocacy”, this event was co-financed by the ICA-European Union Program: COOPS4DEV🌎.
The event was held on November 18 in the framework of the XXI Regional Conference of Cooperatives of the Americas in the city of San José de Costa Rica, this activity was attended by more than 150 young people representing more than 7 nationalities. During the meeting, different presentations were discussed under the topic: “Youth 4.0” from its different perspectives thus managing to visualize the role of the new generations of cooperatives to face the transformation involved in Industry 4.0, in particular the the importance of generational inclusion for the technological, economic and social paradigm changes of the world.
As a first instance, Isidro Ramírez of the JCOOP Network of Costa Rica, presented a contextualization of what is Industry 4.0 to make way for the first block of speakers where the members of the Board of Directors of the CRJ spoke about the different sub-themes of the meeting: innovation, entrepreneurship, communication and advocacy.
The need to continue working on collectivism and not individualism as a characteristic that young people should continue to develop and implement in cooperative organizations was raised, and it was reaffirmed that it is young people who bear knowledge in order to bring cooperatives to their technological update while always having in mind the cooperative perspective “we have a great challenge: to adapt to the new technological and creative scenario from cooperative sector since the digital economy is rapidly consolidating in our societies, economies and lifestyles”, said Angelica Soberanes, President of the Regional Youth Committee of Cooperatives of the Amércias (CRJ).
Compared to previous years youth meetings, this year’s was attended by many directors and senior managers to understand the needs of young people and discuss about how young people can be integrated into positions of decision making. In that sense, youth recognized that sometimes young people have the initiative and the ideas, but they need to land them and have greater commitment to achieve them.
In this laboratory the position of the cooperative youth that seeks to question whether the sector is prepared for this new revolution 4.0 and what is the role of youth as a guide to getting cooperatives not left behind was evident.
Having the participation of civil society representatives interested in learning about the cooperative movement, the importance of working and strengthening cooperation with different actors in society was evidenced, in order to create strategic alliances among which the government was highlighted as one of the most relevant to achieve the changes we need in our society, that is why this parallel session had the participation of José Daniel Campos of the Cantonal Committee of the Young Person of Escazú and Soshill Prado of the Municipality of Escazú to share the opportunities and work that have been developed in the region for young people of Costa Rica.
We also have the presence of two of the case studies selected for the Youth and Cooperatives research, promoted by the ICA-European Union Program (COOPS4DEV🌎), such as COOPEVICTORIA and CSN Financial Cooperative, from Costa Rica and Mexico respectively, with the aim of making young attendees aware of success stories of participation or insertion of youth in cooperatives.
Likewise, to reinforce the issue of political advocacy, the experience of the case of CONAJOVEN in Honduras was presented, where they managed to get the government of their country to recognize the cooperative youth with the Certification of Legal Status through the 1096 agreement of the National Register of Cooperatives and with the participation of UN HABITAT with the theme of the inclusion of young people in the construction of public policy of cities and human settlements in the city.
Regarding the importance of communications, it was reflected from the cooperative and non-cooperative perspective to analyze what characteristics are needed within cooperative organizations so that our internal and external communication strategies have the impact and effectiveness required by Industry 4.0, for this topic Helen Badilla (CEO Neurotrader Latin America) was de speaker.
For the cooperative model and for present organizations, it is urgent to promote generational inclusion and to promote the opening of spaces for the enormous potential of youth, this in order to contribute to the growth, modernization and development of the sector to face new socio-economic dynamics