Co-operating to Build a Better West Conference
November 1-3, 2012
Radisson Hotel, Saskatoon
As key social innovations, co-operatives and co-operation have improved lives and livelihoods in the Canadian West. They continue to perform vital roles in shaping the emerging economic, social, political, and environmental realities of the New West. Co-operating to Build a Better West is designed to promote the sharing of insights and practices that will allow co-operatives and co-operators to advance together, boldly embracing the challenges and opportunities of our times.
There is much talk about a New West and about shifting financial and political forces within Canada. Co-operatives and credit unions have important contributions to make in shaping the emerging economic, social, and environmental realities. There are many new opportunities and challenges that call for innovations in co-operation.
New business and employment prospects are attracting people from other parts of Canada and the world. Combined with a rapidly growing Aboriginal population and other demographic shifts already underway in the West, these changes promise to profoundly alter many aspects of economic and social life. Large-scale resource development, along with growing awareness of environmental issues, will call for new approaches to business, community, and environmental sustainability. There will be greater pressure to integrate enterprise with social responsibility.
Co-operatives and credit unions are well placed to respond proactively to these new conditions and sensibilities. To be maximally effective, they will need to pay particular attention to issues of democratic participation and governance, to the formation of public policy, and to the power and potential of the co-op brand in the 21st Century. The Co-operating to Build a Better West conference is designed to address these and related issues in an engaging, thought-provoking, and collaborative manner.