Studies

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Exclusive, groundbreaking studies

The findings of groundbreaking international studies will be unveiled for the first time at the Summit. These studies focus primarily on the Summit themes and will shed new light on the innovative potential of the cooperative and mutualist business model.

This research will go down as historic milestones in the quantitative and qualitative analysis of cooperatives and their impact on the global economy. They are central to the Summit program and an invaluable source of information available exclusively to participants.

Member Driven Strategies – Leveraging Cooperatives’ Competitive Advantage”

Author : Bain & Company

Cooperatives and mutuals are in a unique position to be leaders in delivering a superior member experience, yet few are realizing this opportunity. Our study will review the current state of member centric strategies in the cooperative sector – highlighting successes, challenges and opportunities. It will also draw from Bain research and best practice case studies to outline the business case and path forward for cooperatives and mutuals to enhance their competitiveness by putting the member at the center of everything they do.

Creating People Advantage 2014 – Creating Value through HR Excellence

Author : Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

Top executives understand the need to make people management a priority if they are to succeed in a competitive business environment. This study, conducted with the World Federation of People Management Associations (WFPMA) - identifies current as well as future HR challenges and the best practices to address them. Based on an extensive worldwide survey, it establishes concrete measures for companies that want to excel in people management. Interviews with executives of key multinational companies further supplement critical insights into HR excellence.

The study is being published for the 8th year running. It is regarded as the most comprehensive and largest annual HR publication of its kind: In the last worldwide study in 2012, more than 4,000 HR professionals participated in the survey and over 150 executives across industries contributed their ideas and experience. 

Global Report on Cooperatives and Employment

Author : CICOPA

The report will present the status of employment in cooperatives around the world, through both quantitative and qualitative analysis, framed into the bigger picture of the situation and challenges of employment in the world. More specifically, the report will: estimate the number of jobs created or maintained by cooperatives; define the specificities of employment in cooperatives as compared to the economy in general; reveal the points of view of people working in or with cooperatives on cooperative employment; discover the factors of sustainable and decent employment in cooperatives and propose corresponding recommendations.

Sustainable finance: How cooperatives can lead the way in creating symbiosis between capital markets and the planet?

Author : Corporate Knights

Capital markets are the oxygen of our modern economy.  The coming decades present a special window to harness their power ($200 trillion) to invest in a civilisation that can thrive amidst the coming demographic and climate waves. Meeting this challenge requires a new type of fiduciary mindset, fusing market gaps and pioneering scalable examples in each asset class to show that this shift is ready for prime time. With its tradition of community, connected finance and long-term focus, the cooperative movement is well-placed to lead this charge. What does it look like?

United Nation’s Global Census on Cooperatives

Author : Dave Grace & Associates

Year : 2014

Following the 2012 International Year of Cooperatives the United Nation’s Department for Economic and Social Affairs commissioned the first-ever Global Census on Cooperatives. Surveys, desk and field research was conducted over the past 9 months from 145 countries for all types of cooperatives. The findings reveals the 10 most cooperative economies in the world and the first aggregate scoping of the number of cooperatives, number of members/clients, offices, employees, assets and annual revenues at the national, regional, global and sector levels.

The results of the Global Census will be shared for the first time during the International Summit of Cooperatives.  The UN anticipates this research will allow practioners and policymakers to being to understand the size, scope and potential of cooperatives on local and regional economies.

The Solution Revolution Book

Author : Deloitte

The global move away from government-only solutions is more than just altruism, as these collaborative ecosystems turn social problems into market opportunities that businesses small and large can tap for growth and social benefit. This book explains how this unguided, organic, and random phenomenon is organized, and how markets spring up around solving societal problems in much the same way that an economy is structured around exchanges.

A Roadmap for Worldwide Financial Services Innovation

Author : Filene Research Institute

The Filene Research Institute is conducting a study to explore the role and impact of innovation in the financial services sector. With the recent turbulence in the financial services industry, a harsh spotlight has been cast on the array of consumer financial products available. There has been much criticism of these products and their role in the financial crisis. As such, when one speaks of innovation in the financial services industry, there is much skepticism and cynicism regarding the positive benefit of financial services innovation.

This study aims to examine the constructive and positive role innovation can play to help solve consumer’s problems, generate positive contributions to financial services companies and benefit society overall.

At the Vanguard of Canadian Innovation: Compilation of Co-op Case Studies

Author : Forum des Politiques Publiques

With the support of Desjardins Group, Industry Canada, Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada, and the 2014 International Summit of Cooperatives, Canada’s Public Policy Forum explored innovations in the coop sector to identify game-changing products, services, and practices. Building on the cross-country discussion series, Innovation through Cooperation, this research showcases the impact of the coop model in Canada and provides key lessons for advancing a culture of innovation across sectors. Rather than an exhaustive compilation of case studies, the intention is to present a diversity of recent and enduring innovations across sectors and regions based on the following thematic pillars: innovation in business, community development, governance, sustainability, and technology. In addition to profiling transformative ideas, the report highlights key challenges, best practices, and further opportunities to expand successful innovations in the coop sector.

The Cooperative Nature: An Overview

Author : Guy-Bernier Cooperative Chair

What must we do to convince members and non-members that cooperatives respect the nature of their organization? The International Co-operative Alliance has answered this question in part by issuing universal guidelines for cooperatives. But how do members and non-members see things? This study looks at how these actors perceive the cooperative nature. More specifically, it identifies concrete evidence that can convince members and non-members that cooperatives respect the nature of their business model. Certain performance indicators are also used to demonstrate this via an online questionnaire administered in ten countries on 5 continents.

Organizational and Governance Models of Cooperative Banks

Author : IAE de Paris - Sorbonne Graduate Business School

The purpose of the study is to build a typology of the different organizational and governance models used by European and North American cooperative banks. More specifically, it seeks to determine how and where decisions are made, the nature of decisions made at each level, as well as the degree of decentralization and the decision-making processes in each model.

The study will shed light on the diversity of the organizational model hiding behind a common status, cooperatives, and draw a parallel with different levels of decision making and their performance (financial, commercial, and employee mobilization and others).

Cooperative and Mutual Insurers: Good to our People, Good to our World

Author : International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF)

The primary goal of cooperative and mutual insurers is to manage risk in order to build a better world – from safeguarding the environment, to protecting individuals and the families they love. It is also their duty to look after the people at the heart of their organisations.

This study demonstrates how ICMIF’s members are promoting employee wellness, the link with building a stronger business, and the wider benefits of establishing a reputation as a caring employer.

It will present inspiring examples of the most effective employee programs which go well beyond the basic protections afforded by legal and regulatory requirements to create workplaces where employees can grow and embrace life. It will focus on programs that make a real difference to individuals, and demonstrate this sector’s significant contribution to a better world.

Global Reputation Report

Author : International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF)

This report examines people’s perceptions, sentiments towards and conversations about cooperative and mutual insurers and their competitors. The digital analysis spans a 12 month period between November 2011-2012 and tracks 16 different languages. It compares the findings with a group of the 20 largest global stock insurers and offers a global understanding of the sector’s reputation and highlights ways for the sector as a whole to make improvements.

Business Models in Banking: A Pre-and Post-crisis Screening and Monitoring

Author : International Observatory on Financial Services Cooperatives (IOFSC)

The next few years will be critical for Europe’s banking industry as it faces a number of financial sector reforms that will have a decisive impact on the dominant practices and business models followed across the EU. This timely study presents the results of the first monitoring exercise conducted of the performance, stability, risk, efficiency and corporate governance of some 150 major European banks including a number of financial services cooperatives, before, during and after the financial crisis, with a view to identifying key strengths and weaknesses inherent in the dominant business models in light of the upcoming regulatory changes.

Health Cooperatives Around the World

Author : LPS Productions

This study draws up an international picture of health cooperatives including social service cooperatives, mutuals and cooperatives offering health insurance products, as well as cooperative pharmacies. No such study has been produced since a report by the UN in 1997. In a context where health care costs are exploding and we are simultaneously seeing an aging population in developed countries and a population boom in developing countries, the report also aims to highlight the most influential actions that are facilitating access to health services and are a source of innovation. For example, the study will report health cooperatives with a particular emphasis on reaching at-risk populations, mutual health insurance that offers access for low-income people in developing countries or cooperative pharmacies that promote the sale of pharmaceuticals at the lowest cost.

Disruptive Technologies: Advances that Will Transform Life, Business, and the Global Economy

Author : McKinsey & Company

The relentless parade of new technologies is unfolding on many fronts. Almost every advance is billed as a breakthrough, and the list of “next big things” grows ever longer. Not every emerging technology will alter the business or social landscape—but some truly do have the potential to disrupt the status quo, alter the way people live and work, and rearrange value pools. It is therefore critical that business and policy leaders understand which technologies will matter to them and prepare accordingly.

For cooperatives, rapid technological changes have several implications. First, co-ops tend to be prudent organizations that often prefer to adapt to technological changes by opposition to driving them. In a context of rapid technological evolution, this puts cooperative organizations in a constant defensive position. Also, many new technologies are disintermediating the human interactions from business interactions, which puts one of the strongest pillars of the cooperative movement at risk. At the same time, however, technological shifts can enable new ways to engage members more deeply on a broader set of topics, which could potentially reinforce cooperatives.

The presentation cuts through the noise and identifies 12 technologies that could drive truly massive economic transformations and disruptions in the coming years. We look at exactly how these technologies could change our world, as well as their benefits and challenges, and offers guidelines to help leaders from businesses and other institutions respond. 

New Vision for Agriculture, New Models for Action

Author : McKinsey & Company

To feed 9 billion people by 2050, the world will need to adopt new strategies aimed at sustainably increasing agricultural production. Meeting this challenge will require significant increases in investment, innovation and collaboration among all stakeholders. The World Economic Forum’s New Vision for Agriculture serves as a platform to build collaboration among stakeholders to achieve a vision of agriculture as a driver of food security, environmental sustainability and economic opportunity.

In the past 3 years, governments, business, farmers and civil society organizations have embraced and begun to implement this vision at global, regional and country levels.

This presentation outlines the progress to date of partnerships catalysed by the New Vision for Agriculture, and the key challenges and next steps that must be addressed to realize the full potential of the multistakeholder partnership model.

Improving Our Understanding of the Markets and the Readability of Agricultural Strategies

Author : Momagri

Since the G20 Agriculture Summit, various talks have been held to chart a new course toward global agricultural governance with a clear objective: fight food insecurity and agricultural price volatility. Three years later, global agricultural governance seems to have stalled due to a lack of political will, perhaps, but also a lack of decision-making tools and controls.

With this in mind, researchers developed an economic model and established a rating and assessment agency. This agency created indicators to improve the transparency of agricultural markets and the readability of agricultural strategies. This study presents the agency’s objectives, missions, and purpose, as well as its first indicators, the SGPAA (global support for agricultural production and food) and the ISA (food solvency indicator).

Policies to Address the Growing Instability of Agricultural Markets

Author : Momagri

The growing instability of agricultural markets is a significant source of risk and uncertainty for farmers and, consequently, for agricultural production and food security. The food riots of 2008 were a reminder that social and political equilibrium in developing and developed countries is closely tied to agricultural market stability. Global stability cannot be built on market chaos—making the need for regulation greater than ever.

This study takes an in-depth look at policies promoting agricultural market stability and global trade development. Based on a fresh analysis of the exogenous and endogenous origins of price volatility and an understanding of the financialization of agricultural markets, it suggests principles for global agricultural governance.

Affordable Energy and Economic Development: The Role of Electric Cooperatives in the 21st Century

Author : National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA)

The study will consider the following 3 questions: Is affordable electricity a necessary condition for economic growth? Does the presence of cooperatives in a competitive electric power market help to assure a reliable, affordable electric supply that might not otherwise be universally available? and What has been the economic impact of electric cooperatives in the United States?  The primary objective of the study is to make a strong case for a direct linkage between the development of energy cooperatives and economic growth, particularly in areas of the developing world currently without electric service.

Organizing for Effectiveness and Growth in Financial Services Cooperatives: A Focus on the Americas

Author : Oliver Wyman

In their search for continuous growth trajectories, senior management in Cooperative Banking and Mutual Insurance industries have typically centered their attention and focus on strategic questions. Nevertheless, organizational elements, including the efficacy of structures, processes and governance models, directly impact the ability of these entities to successfully implement their strategic and operational objectives.

The results of this study will determine the organizational attributes evidenced in cooperative banks and mutual insurers exhibiting a range of growth performance and as such, identify those which serve as best practices within these sectors. 

The Outlook for Cooperative Banking in Europe

Author : Oliver Wyman

Update of the report presented at the 2012 Summit: “The Outlook for Cooperative Banking in Europe 2012: Banking on Values, Building on Agility”, this report aims to focus specifically on cooperative core values and customer focus, as well as analyze how they translate into differentiating values or intrinsically contribute to some of today’s trends or expectations.

The Digital Cooperative - Mapping Digital Stakeholder Engagement in the Global Movement

Author : Olivier Frey & Co-operative News

Whilst many cooperative and mutuals around the world are using digital tools – from simple websites to social media and apps, there has been no systematic attempt to map what they are doing, what is working, where there are gaps, and where digital engagement offers cooperatives the opportunity to demonstrate their cooperative difference.

The purpose of this project is to understand how effective cooperatives and mutuals are at using digital tools to engage four sets of stakeholders: employees; members; public and community; opinion formers and decision makers.

The research will look across the global cooperative movement at a sample of large, medium and small cooperatives to identify: the state of the movement’s use of digital communication tools for engaging with their stakeholders; best practice examples of digital engagement in cooperatives and mutuals; opportunities for cooperatives and mutuals to use digital engagement to demonstrate their cooperative difference ; ways for digital engagement to boost member participation, employee engagement, customer loyalty and advocacy ; suggested movement-wide initiatives to build the movement’s digital skills.

Vers une entreprise progressiste / Toward a Progressive Business

Author : Paris Montréal Conseil

This study led by André Coupet was conducted by a group of French professionals who participated in the Terra Nova think tank. It puts forward the concept of a business that adheres to clearly humanist values and creates value for all parties involved using a targeted economic and societal strategy. The proposed drivers of progress are designed for entrepreneurs and managers seeking to quickly take their companies in a different direction. The study ends with a self-evaluation tool on the 60 drivers of progress identified. The tool was adapted for cooperatives and will be finalized at a Summit workshop on October 8.

Securing the Food Supply Chain and Selecting the Appropriate Mode of Financing

Author : PwC

The food industries are currently undergoing a major transformation. Changing consumer needs, international competition and new global constraints are forcing cooperatives to adopt an integrated approach to supply chain risk management with a view to mitigating potential disruptions, responding to consumer demand and monitoring supply chain performance while supporting growth.

Although consumer awareness is high, the entire value chain is responsible for food safety. From production to sales to end consumers, including supply and distribution chains, all stakeholders share in this responsibility.

Once investment priorities have been identified, cooperators may decide to finance related projects out of the cooperative's profits, although they may also consider other financing sources and models, which are analyzed in this study.

The Rise of the Rural Entrepreneur - Book update

Author : Rabobank

As the world population grows and lives longer, we rely on farmers to provide a sustainable food supply. But farmers everywhere face 5 food production challenges that prevent them from producing more with fewer resources, being sustainable and using innovative technology. These intrepid farmers are seeking solutions. They are “rural entrepreneurs."

They are the future of farming. The study will examine the key challenges facing farmers around the world, such as succession, sustainability, supply chain, solutions and social media.

Impact and Relevance of Co-operative Business Education

Author : Sobey School of Business & IRECUS

Given Principle #5 on education and training, cooperatives are compelled to provide education, training, and information to societies, communities and individuals. Within cooperatives, it is imperative that members and managers have a sophisticated understanding of the cooperative model as cooperatives attempt to differentiate themselves within the dominant capitalist marketplace. In particular, managing a cooperative according to its principles and values is a challenge when the basis for most of the education and training received by our members and managers is based on the capitalist paradigm which often lacks information on the broader context within which other models of business exist, including cooperatives.

The report has 2 primary objectives, which are to profile existing formal cooperative business education programs and initiatives and to analyze data from graduates and sector partners in order to report on the impact and relevance of cooperative business education along with challenges and roadblocks that need to be a focus in the future. 

Banking for Health

Author : World Health Organization (WHO)

There is now global recognition of the relationship between macroeconomics, finance and health. There is also considerable evidence demonstrating the detrimental impacts that financial crises and macroeconomic responses to address them can have on health equity, illness and death.

By addressing the social determinants of health, there is significant potential for the banking sector to play an important role in improving health and social development, promoting universal health coverage and reducing poverty and inequity. Cooperative banks in particular are strategically well placed to consider and benefit from this kind of active, expanded role in health equity—“banking for health”—given their cooperative principles, governance and product base.

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