This document has been made available in electronic format by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
June, 1998
(Source: Asia-Pacific Co-op News, Vol. 5, No.1, Jan-Apr., 1998, p.1)

ICA holds Co-op Think Tank Consortium

Conceived in 1997 to provide a dialogue between the ICA regional members and the development partners on broad-based issues of common concern to the ICA ROAP, a Co-operative Think Tank Consortium was held in Manila from 18-23 February, 1998, co-sponsored by the National Confederation of Co-operatives (NATCCO), Philippines.

As expected the Consortium was able to define a new Co-op Paradigm that conforms to the policy directions set by the ICA Board and the development strategies of the ICA Development Trust.

Several papers were presented at the Consortium on major themes like "the Global ICA Policy and its New Development Strategy", "Towards a Fresh Co-op Paradigm", "Impact of the Current Economic Crisis in the Region and ways Co-ops adjust to the Changing Environment", "International Co-operative Development Agenda: Sustaining Relevance of the Co-op Model in a Changing Local and Global Environment", etc.

Bruce Thordarson, Director General and Bjorn Genberg, Director- Development of ICA discussed the general thrusts and direction of the ICA at the global level and the development approach that ICA is currently taking to become more relevant and effective to its world-wide co-operative constituency.

The paper on `Towards a Fresh Co-op Paradigm', presented by the ICA's Regional Director Robby Tulus, outlined the interim and long term plan formulated by the ICA Regional Office.

Several representatives from member-organisations in Singapore, India, Japan, Korea, China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and the ICA's development partners like Canadian Co-operative Association, Developpment International Desjardins (DID), the Japanese Consumers Co-operative Union (JCCU), the International Labour Organisation, etc. made presentations on important issues in response to the changing world environment and their strategies in Asia.

A highlight of the Consortium was a Speakers' Forum, organised through the special efforts of the host NATCCO, Philippines. Dr. Ian MacPherson, Dr. Peter Davis and Dr. Hans Munkner gave special lectures on relevant co operative development topics. The speakers' forum was attended by the Consortium participants, several representatives from different Philippine co-ops, NGOs and government agencies and the participants of the ICA- Japan Management Training Course.

The participants, responding to an evaluation, felt that the meeting allowed them to discuss problems and possible solutions concerning current important issues and events in Asia. A consensus was also reached to hold national level Think Tanks leading to the ICA Regional Assembly in October, 1998.

An important highlight of Consortium was a meeting with the President, Mr. Mitsuo Sato, Executive Director and staff of the Asian Development Bank at the Bank's offices in Manila.

A delegation comprising the Director-General and Regional Director of ICA, Mr. Kurimoto from the JCCU, Mr. Tan Kin Lian, SNCF, Mr. B.S. Viswanathan, NCUI and Mr. Shil Kwan Lee, NACF, were able to meet and discuss with the President of the ADB, Mr. Mitsuo Sato.