ILO provides a message for the 5th Brazilian Meeting of Researchers on Cooperativism

ILO Cooperatives Unit sent a video message to the research conference organized by Sistema OCB, the national apex organization for the Brazilian cooperative movement.

News | 23 October 2019
Participants at the conference
The Brazilian Meeting of Researchers on Cooperativism (EBPC) aims to raise awareness on the cooperative business model and encourage the development of studies on how to improve effectiveness, efficiency and competitiveness of cooperative enterprises in practice. The 5th edition was organized under the theme “Sustainable Businesses in Transformation Scenarios” at the Gama Campus of the Federal Institute of Brasilia (IFB) from 9 to 11 October 2019. The meeting was structured around five areas: 1) Identity and legal scenarios; 2) Education and learning; 3) Governance, management and innovation; 4) Capital, finance and performance; and 5) Economic, social and environmental impacts.

Over 300 participants from government agencies, cooperatives, research institutions and other civil society organizations participated in the meeting. Several panel discussions were organized and 105 selected academic papers were presented on the five areas of focus.

Panel discussion
ILO Cooperatives Unit contributed to a panel discussion on identity, representation and legal scenario through a video message. In addition to Ms Simel Esim, Professor Sonja Novkovic of Saint Mary’s University in Canada, the Chairperson of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) Committee on Cooperative Research; Professor Marie Bouchard of the University of Quebec, Montreal (UQAM); and Mr. Mario de Conto, Director General of the Faculty of Cooperative Technology of Sistema Ocergs.

In her video message, Ms. Esim emphasized the need for cooperative researchers and practitioners to reflect on international labour standards especially those related to the fundamental principles and rights at work, in the context of the rapidly changing world of work. She mentioned a potential for cooperatives to address decent work deficits, in the platform economy and in global supply chains. She also touched on the growing calls from the ILO constituents, practitioners and researchers to advocate for a discussion on the wider social and solidarity economy (SSE) at the United Nations in general and at the ILO in particular.

Subsequently, she shared some observations on laws, policies and programmes around cooperatives and other SSE organizations around four issues, namely state capacity, policy coherence, participation and sustainability. Regarding sustainability, she emphasized the importance of harmonized and comparable statistics, monitoring and evaluation systems for cooperative and other SSE organizations. She noted the need for countries to undertake pilot initiatives using the guidelines of statistics on cooperatives adopted at the 20th International Conference of Labour statisticians in Geneva in 2018.