What is the International Summit of Cooperatives?

The International Summit of Cooperatives is the world's leading event for business development in the cooperative and mutual community. It offers managers, decision-makers and leaders of cooperative and mutual enterprises of all size and in all sectors, as well as anyone in the world of business, a unique venue for reflection, discussion, cooperation and training on major trends, as well as on current and future economic and financial issues. By demonstrating that cooperatives are one answer to the major socioeconomic issues of our times, the Summit aims to promote and foster the development of cooperative enterprises in all countries. The event attracts more than 3,000 participants from 93 countries.

The International Summit of Cooperatives is a non-profit organization headquartered in Montreal, Canada.

A biennial gathering

During the first edition in 2012, the Summit revealed “The Amazing Power of Cooperatives”. It demonstrated the power of cooperatives and mutuals through concrete examples, innovative studies and widely respected speakers, arousing the interest of major international organizations. – RECOGNITION

In 2014, the Summit was back to showcase the unique ability of cooperatives to consistently adapt and innovate to meet their members’ changing needs. It may be more than one hundred years old, but today the cooperative model is more relevant than ever. – ENGAGEMENT

In 2016, the Summit intends to go farther still with the theme of “Cooperatives: The Power to Act”. Efforts will again be made to highlight the power of cooperatives to act and their significant impact at the local, national and international levels. It will also provide the opportunity to show how much strength cooperatives and mutuals wield when it comes to helping to solve the key global issues identified by the United Nations. – ACTION

Learn about the 2016 Edition and discover the Program at a Glance.  


Summit hosts

The International Summit of Cooperatives is an initiative of the International Co-operative Alliance and Desjardins Group.


About Desjardins Group. Desjardins Group is the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and the fifth-largest cooperative financial group in the world with assets of more than $229 billion. It has been rated one of Canada’s top 100 employers by Mediacorp Canada. To meet the diverse needs of its members and clients, Desjardins offers a full range of products and services to individuals and businesses through its extensive distribution network, online platforms and subsidiaries across Canada. The group has one of the highest capital ratios and credit ratings in the industry. In 2014, Desjardins was named the fourth-safest bank in North America by Global Finance magazine, and the second-strongest bank in the world by Bloomberg News.



About the International Co-operative Alliance. The International Co-operative Alliance is an independent, non-governmental organization established in 1895 to unite, represent and serve cooperatives worldwide. It provides a global voice and forum for knowledge, expertise and coordinated action for and about cooperatives.

The Alliance’s members are international and national cooperative organizations from all sectors of the economy, including agriculture, banking, consumer, fisheries, health, housing, insurance and workers. The Alliance has members from one hundred countries, representing one billion individuals worldwide. 250 million people earn their lives in or via a cooperative. The Alliance is the guardian of the cooperative identity, values and principles.