Co-operatve film project; Co-operatives;Counterpoint to Corporatism
OVERVIEW of the CO-OPERATIVE FILM PROJECT Joan Russow Global Compliance Research Project Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Vancity co-operative video series has begun in time for co-operative week, with an interview with professor Stefano Zamagni, an economist from the University of Bologna. We thought that it would be important to start the Vancity series with Professor Zamagni’s clarity and vision about the history and theoretical basis of Co-operatives. The video was broadcast on Shaw Television on Saturday October 10, and Sunday October 11. Eventually, the video will be up on the web.
I have been involved with calling upon government to comply with the principles that have been derived from international obligations related to guaranteeing human rights, ensuring social justice, preventing war and conflict and guaranteeing conservation and protection of the environment. In essence the principles espoused by the International Co-operative Alliance mirror these obligations.
In 2008, I decided to work with a filmmaker on a film entitled Co-operatives: Counterpoint to Corporatism. With funding from Vancity, I went to Europe for almost three month to videotape the CIRIEC Conference in Seville, the ICA conference in Riva del Garda, and the ICA Expo: World Co-operative Trade Fair and Exhibition, Lisbon, Portugal. We visited Co-operatives in France, Spain and Italy. We also went to Geneva to video tape representatives of the International Labour Congress, and to Paris to interview the Deputy Secretary General of the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
From my experience at the various events and at co-operatives in France, Italy, Spain and Portugal, at a time when the current economic system was collapsing, I became even more convinced that co-operatives were not just a solution but the solution. However, co-operatives will only become the solution if their principles are not impeded by government/corporate socially inequitable and environmentally unsound practices.
A common theme reiterated throughout conferences such as the CIRIEC Conference in Seville, the ICA Conference in Riva del Garda, and the ICA Exhibition in Lisbon, was that cooperative enterprises are different from for-profit corporations because cooperatives embody sustainability - economic, social and environmental- and CSR “cooperative” as redefined at the launching of the global 300 project] within a framework of values. To support this difference, cooperative theorists and practitioners often cite: (i) the adoption, in 1992, of the principle of "sustainable development"; (ii) the drafting of the 1992 Cooperative Agenda 21 to complement the United Nations Environment and Development (UNCED), Agenda 21; (iii) the establishing of the seven ICA values at the 1995 ICA Conference in Manchester; (iv) the passing of the sustainability resolution at the 2006 ICA Conference in (Dourdan, and (v) the CSR ("cooperative" social responsibility), advanced through Global 300, launched in 2008 in Lisbon.
For years, for-profit corporations have been responsible for and have benefited from the relaxing, by states, of regulations and have functioned in an unsustainable way, causing a vicious cycle of errors. These errors have resulted in “Corporate social irresponsibility”: unsustainability- socially, economically and ecologically. While for-profit corporations espouse the rhetoric of "sustainability", through the so-called triple bottom line- economic, social and environmental, they, usually in collusion with governments, undermine the serious implementation of true sustainability by advocating "voluntary compliance", and by decrying the "command and control" exercised by mandatory government regulations.
Sustainability, along with CSR, is a global obligation, not an optional value To not impede sustainability governments and all corporations must comply with obligations and commitments Governments have to pass legislation that foster cooperatives (implementation of ILO recommendation 193), and to enact the necessary legislation to ensure compliance with commitments made and obligations incurred through international laws related to sustainability. Cooperatives will benefit not only from states acknowledging the cooperative as a real alternative, but also from states being compelled to discharge their obligations and act on their commitments through legislation enacted to prevent actions and practices that would undermine the established values and principle espoused by cooperatives. It is only when governments fulfill their role that disadvantaged [vulnerable] individuals and communities will be able to achieve and maintain true sustainability.
Through international instruments, such as conventions, covenants, declarations and resolutions, states have embraced norms with the expressed purpose to do the following: *to promote and fully guarantee respect for human rights including: labour rights, civil and political rights, social and cultural rights- right to food, right to housing, right to a universally accessible not-for-profit health care system, right to education and social justice; * to enable socially equitable and environmentally sound employment, and ensure the right to development [as per Convention]; * to achieve a state of peace, social justice and disarmament; through reallocation of military expenses, and eradication of poverty; * to create a global structure that respects the rule of law ; and * to ensure the preservation and protection of the environment, respect the inherent worth of nature beyond human purpose, reduce the ecological footprint and move away from the current model of over-consumptive development. Many of these norms were also extant in the Agenda 21, and the Rio Declaration from United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in Agenda 21, as well in the subsequent conferences, such as Habitat II in 1996. In 1992, the ICA, following Agenda 21 from the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), developed the "Cooperative Agenda 21". While the cooperatives have attempted to embrace the far-reaching commitments emanating from Agenda 21, the states have reneged on their commitments from Agenda 21.
If there is to be real change, there has to be not only prescriptions but also proscriptions. For example, for co-operatives to prescribe organic farming, they have to at the same time call for the proscribing of genetically engineered food and crops and pesticides [with a fair and just transition policy for farmers and communities affected by the proscriptions]. With genetic drift it will, in the future be impossible, for the two forms of agriculture to co-exist. Co-operatives also have to address the issue of the World Trade Organization’s undermining food sovereignty and security by forcing states to abandon their opposition to genetically engineered food and crops.
THREE PHASES OF THE CO-OPERATIVE FILM PROJECT Phase 1 Cooperative Enterprise" Co-operataives; a Counterpoint to Corporatism Highlights of conferences exhibition on "co-operatism" UPDATE A. CIRIEC CONFERENCE IN SEVILLE OUTLINE 1. DECRYING THE ECONOMIC CRISIS OF CAPITALISM 2. DEPLORING CURRENT GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION 3. RECOGNIZING A COUNTERPOINT TO CAPTITALISM: COOPERATIVISM 4 ADVANCING A NEW VISION OF INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION 5 PROMOTING A VIRTUOUS CIRCLE RATHER THAN A VICIOUS CIRCLE
PRESENTERS IN PROPOSED VIDEO: José Luis Monzón, President of CIRIEC-España Antonio Romero, President of CEPES-Andalucía Joseph STIGLITZ University of Columbia (USA), Nobel Prize of Economics Ian Macpherson, , B.C. Institute for Co-operative Studies Abdou Salam Fall Senegal Researcher at the Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire (IFAN) Jan Olsson Member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) (Sweden)
B. ICA/ EURICSE Research Conference /RIVA DAL GARDA OVERVIEW: 1 DELINEATING ECONOMIC CRISIS 2.DISTINGUSHING COOPERATIVES FROM CAPITALISTIC CORPORATIONS3 3. DESCRIBING ROLE OF COOPERATIVES 4. CONFRONTING OBSTACLES 5. OVERCOMING OBSTACLES PRESENTERS AND I
NTERVIEWEES IN PROPOSED VIDEO: Ivano Barberini, President ICA Ian MacDonald Secretary General ICA Carlo Borzaga, University of Trento / EURICSE, IT Lou Hammond Ketilson, University of Saskatchewan / ICA, CAN Giulio Sapelli, University of Milan, IT Roger Spear, Open University, UK Hassan Kashef, ICA The Global 300 Project Ian MacPherson, B.C. Institute for Co-operative Studies Ermanno Tortia, Università di Trento A. McLeod, University of Saskatchewan ZULEMAN CHAMBO ica coop Tanzania Morris Altman Chair of Economics Department Leeds professor Stirling Smith Co-operative University Great Breton Christina Clamp Southern New Hampshire University Peter Davis University of Leicester, England. R. Debroboczki Lawyer from Canada Isabelle Findlay University of Saskatchewan Len Findlay University of Saskatchewan and others participating from the audience
C. ICA EXPO: WORLD CO-OPERATIVE TRADE FAIR AND EXHIBITION, LISBON, PORTUGAL \ 1 DELINEATING ECONOMIC CRISIS 2 DISTINGUSHING COOPERATIVES FROM CAPITALISTIC CORPORATIONS AND FROM COMMUNISM 3 DESCRIBING ROLE OF COOPERATIVES 4 OBSTRUCTION OBSTACLES CONSTRAINTS 5 OVERCOMING OBSTACLES
PARTICIPANTS AND INTERVIEWEES IN PROPOSED VIDEO Orkambo co-operative Namibia M. K Mohammed Iran Central Chamber of Cooperatives Malaysia H I Saiful Bahri Bin Hi Omar . Extension and Promotion Division Malaysia Cooperative Commission Paulo Uime Presidente Angola confederacao das associacoes de camponeses Namibia Padalko Pavel Director mudius ltd Khabarovsk Russia Professor Rio Grande del sul Brazil Fong China Ianni Barberini President, ICA Figueros Minister of Agriculture Portugal Professor Fernado medina ?? Brazil Iain Macdonald Director General ICA Hassan Kashef financial/ project manager ICA Gun-Britt Martensson KFO Hagen Henry International Labour Organization Italian Legge Cooperative Jose maria Giralde, ICA latin America FILM
PREPARATION FOR PHASE 1 We have transferred 90 hours of footage, transcribed 60 hours of tape, did rough edits, translated, from Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French, Russian for English Subtitles and compiled and categorized the footage from the CIRIEC Seville conference, the ICA Riva dal Garda conference and the ICA Lisbon Exhibition. We had applied for funding to complete Phase 1 of the project but because of the economic downturn, the expected funding was not forthcoming.
In the interim until we can complete Phase 1of the project, we will be putting together a Vancity series of videos of interviews to be broadcast on Shaw Victoria, and Shaw Salt Spring and to be put up on the web. Vancity co-operative video series, Co-operatives; a Counterpoint to Corporatism, has begun Vancity co-operative video series has begun in time for co-operative week, with an interview with professor Stefano Zamagni, an economist from the University of Bologna. We thought that it would be important to start the Vancity series with Professor Zamagni’s clarity and vision about the history and theoretical basis of Co-operatives. The video was broadcast on Shaw Television on Saturday October 10, and Sunday October 11. Eventually, the video will be up on the web.
Phase 2: Cooperative Enterprise: Counterpoint to Consumptive Corporatism and Unsustainability (1-hour video production/proof of concept the nature of which is conditional on Successful fund-raising)
Phase 3: Documentary on Cooperatives (the nature of which is conditional on successful fund-raising)