Preliminary Program

Tuesday, June 19

15:00–18:00
BRITISH COLUMBIA CO-OPERATIVE ASSOCIATION ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

18:00–21:00
WELCOME RECEPTION

Wednesday, June 20

07:30–08:30
BREAKFAST

08:30–09:00
OPENING REMARKS: CO-OPERATION IN A CHANGING WORLD
The world is changing rapidly. Today, communities seeking economic development must conscientiously consider their societal impacts, ecological footprint, democratic transparency, and gender inclusion, all while competing in markets that are constantly being transformed by technology. Co‑operatives and mutuals must find advantages in the application of the co‑operative model in the face of this changing world. What lies ahead? We have organized this event in Victoria to learn from each other and explore mutual concerns and opportunities.

09:00
UNLEASHING THE POLITICAL INFLUENCE OF CO-OPERATIVES
Co-operatives often underestimate their political potential and their capacity to collectively influence government decision-making. Bill Oemichen’s leadership of a team of twelve lobbyists changed how co‑operatives lobby government in Wisconsin, Minnesota and in Washington DC. His team also pushed for and achieved a self-regulated environment for co‑operatives in consumer affairs and changed how they raise capital for co‑operatives. Mr. Oemichen will discuss what worked for them in the US, and how that may be applied in Canada.

Keynote Speaker
Bill OEMICHEN, Co‑operative lawyer and former Executive Director of the Co‑operative Network

09:15
THE IMPORTANCE OF VALUES FOR CO-OPERATIVE BUSINESSES IN A CHANGING WORLD
Values can inspire motivation and commitment in a business, but there is often a gap between values and reality. Business values can be afterthoughts, or worse, treated as costly overhead. What are the practical ways to make values and principles the heart of co-operatives while enabling them to adapt and succeed in a changing world?

Keynote Speaker
Ed MAYO, author of Values: How to Bring Values to Life in Your Business and Secretary General, Co‑operatives UK, Manchester

09:20
CO-OPERATION AND COMPETITION: HOW TO BALANCE THIS PARADOX TO WIN
Co-operatives must compete to stay in the market, but their values also speak of inter co‑operation. How can we rally the best of both? Olympic speed skater Kristina Groves will shed light on this duality through her experiences where co‑operation and competition have been key to her success in a changing world. Kristina will share her insights and inspiration as Project Ambassador for the Alberta Solar Co‑operative.

Keynote Speaker
Kristina GROVES, Entrepreneur, speaker and Olympic long-track speed skating medallist, AB

10:00
NETWORKING BREAK

10:30
A SHOWCASE OF BC CO-OPERATIVE INNOVATION IN A CHANGING WORLD
British Columbia co-operatives will share their unique stories about how they adapt to change in the local, regional, and global economies. What has driven their evolution? What changes have they made their organization to compete and why? How do they plan to remain competitive as the economy continues to be disrupted?

Mike COOK, VP of Operations, Stocksy United

Dave MOORE, Business Manager, River Select Fisheries Co-op

11:15
CO-OPERATIVE CEOs: HOW ARE WE EMBRACING CHANGE?
In addition to everyday challenges, CEOs must now contend with a raft of emerging issues. Business activities that have been steady for years are shifting quickly as new competitors and technologies disrupt markets. Members want value as well as values and are often inclined to shop around to the detriment of their co‑op. How do co‑op leaders engage members and retain their loyalty when they are busy transforming the co‑op itself? How do they keep their employees motivated and foster innovation to capitalize on the changing market? How do CEOs embrace their co‑operative values in this business environment?

Moderator
Scott BANDA, CEO, Federated Co-operatives Limited

Panel
Guy CORMIER, President and CEO, Desjardins Group, QC

Patrick NANGLE, CEO, Modo Co‑operative, BC

Carole KITCHEN, CEO, United Farmers of Alberta Co-operative Ltd.

Adrian LEGIN, President and CEO, Coastal Community Credit Union, BC

12:00–13:00
LUNCH

13:0016:30
CO-OP TOURS AND WORKSHOPS
Tours and workshops will run concurrently. Participants may choose from one of two co-op tours OR two of six workshops.

13:00–16:30
CO-OP TOURS (SOLD OUT)

Co-op Tour A
Rural Victoria: Lohbrunner Co-op Farm (sold out)

Co-op Tour B
Downtown Victoria: Stocksy and Mountain Equipment Co-op (sold out)

13:15–14:30
WORKSHOPS, GROUP 1

Workshop 1A
CO-OPERATIVE SOLUTIONS TO PRECARIOUS EMPLOYMENT
Insecure work, such as casual, zero hours and self-employment are on the increase. Labour market deregulation, the impact of technology and the gig economy add to the erosion of employment rights. There are barriers to organizing this rapidly growing workforce, but can trade unions and co‑operatives work together to secure decent work?

Workshop 1B
HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE WORKPLACE (in English only)
How can we end the culture of harassment in the workplace and build on the diversity of our staff and membership in co-operatives? This workshop will share the Vancity's journey to create a more inclusive co-operative by building on co-operative values and principles. 

Anita BRAHA, lawyer and Chair of Vancity Board of Directors, BC

Workshop 1C
CO-OPERATION IN A DIGITAL ECONOMY
Digital platforms, connectivity, and user data will play an increasingly crucial role in building and strengthening relationships with members. If co‑ops and mutuals wish to promote active, democratic participation, they must adopt methods that are convenient and digitally engaging. What strategies should your co‑op consider and what are appropriate ways to introduce the shift toward digital tools? In a climate of increased concern about data privacy, how can co‑ops build relationships based on trust with members and their data? What has recently proven successful, and what risks and opportunities can we foresee?

Patrick NANGLE, CEO, Modo Co‑operative, BC

Michel FERLAND, CEO, Fédération des coopératives d’alimentation du Québec

Margaret VINCENT, Senior Counsel, Stocksy, BC

15:00–16:30
WORKSHOPS, GROUP 2

Workshop 2A
FINANCING COOPERATIVE START-UP AND GROWTH
Co‑operative entrepreneurs need accessible financial tools that recognize the value of democratic ownership. As new investment funds are playing an increasing role in the future of co‑operative finance, how do they work together at a local and national level? Where do they fit in the start-up phase, or in other phases of capital financing?

Derek BALLANTYNE & Christina BAKER, Fund Managers, CCIF, Toronto, Vancouver

Marty FROST, Developer, Coop Zone, BC

Eden YESH, Chair, BC Community Impact Investment Coalition

Workshop 2B
CYBER SECURITY—A PRIORITY FOR CO-OP AND MUTUAL BOARDROOMS
In the digital world, more than 1.7 billion people exchange ideas, services and friendship. Canadians’ personal and professional lives are increasingly being shaped in cyberspace, as they work, talk, email, and do business online from wherever they happen to be. Co‑operatives and mutuals doing more and more business with their members online and are now a target. How can co‑ops face security risks to protect their member and customer data?

Tony D’ALESSANDRO, VP Architecture, IT Strategy & Applied Innovation, The Co-operators, ON

Workshop 2C
CANNABIS LEGALIZATION AND EMERGING PRODUCER CO‑OPS
The imminent legalization of cannabis has generated a lot of entrepreneurial buzz. Producers and investors want to take advantage of this 5‑billion-dollar market. As strategies are devised on how to scale up supply under new laws, co-op models are an established and viable option that is can be inclusive and sustainable. Will the co‑operative business model meet the challenges of safe, regulated production and sale of cannabis in a socially responsible manner? What examples are there? What are the ethical, social, financial and political issues that these co‑ops must address?

Todd VERI, member, Kootenay Growers’ Co-op, BC

Mary CHILDS, lawyer, Miller Thompson, Toronto

17:30–18:30
EVENING AWARDS CEREMONY AND BANQUET
Join us as we celebrate the best and brightest in the co-op movement

18:30–22:00
GALA DINNER AND ENTERTAINMENT
Celebrate the Congress with local fare & entertainment

Thursday, June 21

09:00
THE POWER OF ALLIANCES IN EFFECTING THE CHANGE WE WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD
Co-operatives play a vital role in building strong communities in both the developed and developing world. But there are important allies who share our values; organizations from social, environmental and economic sectors are networking and coming together to achieve the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Andrew Chunilall will share how community foundations are assembling a national network of organizations, institutions, and individuals committed to achieving the 17 SDGs by 2030.

Keynote Speaker
Andrew CHUNILALL, CEO, Community Foundations of Canada and Alliance 2030 advocate, ON

09:15
PARTNERSHIPS, OPPORTUNITIES & THE UNITED NATIONS SDGs
The need for partnerships in increasing, to achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Because co‑operative values and principles are aligned with SDG principles, the co‑operative model is being considered as a key to success, along with the community foundation movement in Canada and labour and civil society organizations, who are also building relationships and collective actions.

Moderator
Coro STRANDBERG, Strandberg Consulting, BC

Panel
Ed MAYO, Secretary General, Co‑operatives UK, Manchester

Andrew CHUNILALL, CEO, Community Foundations of Canada, ON

10:00
NETWORKING BREAK

10:30
HOW THE COOPERATIVE MODEL CAN HELP MEET THE NEEDS OF YOUNG CANADIANS, IN A DISRUPTIVE CHANGING WORLD
Millions of Canadians in their 20s, 30s and 40s face challenges in the changing job market, which can prevent them from reaching their potential and make it harder to start and raise a family, own a home, and have enough time and money to enjoy life. This group of Canadians has been dubbed Generation Squeeze. How can co‑ops meet the needs of younger Canadians, who face a different employment future than the one their parents faced? What are the emerging opportunities? Which co‑op models are emerging to respond to the needs of Generation Squeeze?

Moderator: Julien GEREMIE, Deputy Executive Director, CCO, ON

Erin ROBINSON, VP of Corporate Partnerships and Member Benefits, Generation Squeeze, BC

Selena McLACHLAN, Director, Marketing & Business Development, Modo Co-operative, BC

11:15
THE CO-OP ECOSYSTEM IN CANADA: THE FUTURE WE WANT
Provincial co‑operative associations recognize the need to collaborate more on an interprovincial level to better serve their members and create a more sustainable co-operative ecosystem. Over the past year, the Council of Regional Executives/Table des conseils provinciaux (CORE/TCP) has focused on developing shared strategies to improve their programs, increase supports to new and expanding co‑operatives, get new funding and diversify the services they offer. An update on these strategies will be shared, and discussion will occur on the future we want!

Gaston BÉDARD, Executive Director, Conseil québécois de la coopération et de la mutualité (CQCM)

John Kay, Vice-chair, BC Co‑operative Association

Luc Morin, Executive Director, Cooperation Council of Ontario (CCO)

12:00–13:00
LUNCH

13:00–14:30
COOPERATIVES AND MUTUALS CANADA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

For more information on this program, contact Madeleine Brillant
613-238-6712 ext. 225