In honor of International Day of Cooperatives this July 7, the Center is pleased to report on a recent workshop held at its Istanbul headquarters in April 2018 in partnership with Genç İşi Kooperatif (Youth Deal Cooperative). The workshop, titled “Cooperators Without Borders” brought together 22 social cooperative professionals from Lebanon, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United States to share experiences and best practices of their respective organizations.
As noted by one of the organizers, “Social Cooperatives are enterprises with a development mission based on a social solidarity economy.” As such, these types of organizations can provide an alternate model for supplying community needs while fostering fair economic growth. Over the course of two days, participants discussed different models for social enterprise, shared common experiences, and possible future collaborations. The co-organizers recently launched a web site highlighting some of the organizations present and their unique stories. (https://gencisi.org/cooperators-without-borders/). The Hollings Center and Youth Deal Cooperative invite you to visit this web site and see these examples.
Going forward, Youth Deal Cooperative is planning multiple initiatives to build upon the success of the workshop. These include visitations to cooperatives in Beirut, meetings with local chambers of commerce, webinars with American cooperatives, and dissemination seminars within Turkey.