April 11, 2019

The Director of the Institute, Éric Brat, contributed to the Coopoint quarterly magazine, “the Quebec magazine of cooperation” in the March 2019 issue. Entirely dedicated to the issues of cooperation, the magazine explored several questions around the theme of the cooperative business model.

Interviewed by Editor-in-Chief Stéphane Desjardins, Mr. Brat offered his point of view on the importance of the role of cooperatives in the economic and social fabric, although they are “fairly discrete” organizations that “often operate under the radar.” Mr. Brat also stressed the relevance of teaching the cooperative model, noting that although the model is “not well studied and documented (…)” he remained optimistic “as to the adherence and future significance of the cooperative model, particularly in academia.” Moreover, as noted by Stéphane Desjardins, “the students are asking for it!” Indeed, notes Mr. Brat, “younger generations are attracted to organization models that make sense. Coops embody this expectation.” This perspective is also reflected in an ongoing study by the Alphonse and Dorimène Desjardins International Institute for Cooperatives on the millennial generation and the importance of meaning that young people place in their professional career. “Coops are meaningful in that sense, and respond well to their expectations. In our opinion, they have a hopeful future.”

Mr. Brat also mentioned the difficulties of accessing data and documents about cooperatives: “There is no place to consolidate cooperatives’ economic and financial information as seen with inc., with Bloomberg or SEDAR. Information is not easy to access. We are fixing this.” The article explains the creation of PortailCoop, the largest digital library in the world on cooperatives and mutuals, which already carries thousands of digitized documents, including the archives of the three editions of the International Summit of Cooperatives held in Quebec City.

Thanks to the interest of the next generation and the commitment of stakeholders from the world of cooperatives and education, the future of cooperation is promising, according to the article.