Monday, 31 October 2011

IYC 2012 What a year ahead

The big year for co-operatives all over the world. The UN International Year of Co-operatives 2012 and it has just started today Monday 31st October 2011.

The opportunity to celebrate the universal appeal of co-operatives and the future ahead. "Cooperatives are a reminder to the international community that it is possible to pursue both economic viability and social responsibility." says the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Usually we only celebrate our history in anniversaries.

But what is happening locally, and for us that means Manchester and nearby. There will be plenty of that glorious past stuff. The re-opening of the refurbished Pioneers Store & Museum, Toad Lane, Rochdale in early 2012. A Co-operative Heritage Trail: A booklet, leaflet and a map will be produced detailing key heritage sites of co-operative significance.

Then there is the Passport to Co-operative Centres: Members will be able to ‘earn’ a co-operative passport that would provide information on key co-operative outlets and centres in their Region. Stamps can be collected by attending activities, visiting key co-operative centres or on line through virtual activity. Members with six stamps or more in the passport would be eligible to be entered into a prize draw.

An academic conference, a big push on Fairtrade Fortnight, and the opening of the new HQ for The Co-operative in Manchester...We have some ideas ourselves for some activity and promotion in our part of the city. That's under discussion right now.

The best bit is at the end of the year. That's Wednesday 31 October - Friday 2 November.
"Manchester will be transformed into a hive of co-operative activity, with thousands of co-operators coming from the UK and overseas to take part in the global culmination of the International Year of Co-operatives. Manchester Central's 80,000 square foot exhibition hall will take centre stage with the ICA Expo co-operative trade fair, and a full programme of exciting events and activities will run alongside, from seminars and workshops to award shows and entertainment."

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