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KU Leuven University held ICA Committee on Cooperative Research (CCR) Conference

Over 150 participants from across the world gathered at the ICA Committee on Cooperative Research (CCR) Conference “Innovating in cooperative governance. Governing cooperative innovation”, held from 10 to 13 July at the KU Leuven University, Belgium.

Co-organised by the ICA CCR, the Centre of Expertise for Cooperative Entrepreneurship (KCO) of the KU Leuven, and the Centre for Social Economy of the HEC Liège Management School, the event comprised 4 plenaries, 10 panel sessions, and workshops with practitioners.

Aside from the cross-cutting themes of cooperative innovation and governance, these sessions dealt with multiple topics that are shaping the present and the future of the cooperative model, such as new technologies, ecological sustainability, social innovation and civic wealth creation, resilience, new forms of cooperativism, cooperative law, and education and training. In addition, plenary sessions covered aspects that open new potentialities for cooperative development such as university spin-offs and further analysis on cooperative ecosystems.

The conference was preceded by the pre-conference research and practice exchange day “Let’s cooperate!”, engaging researchers and practitioners in 11 dynamic and participatory workshops that stimulated debate between academics and cooperators from the field. In addition, prior the conference young researchers had the opportunity to peer-learn and discuss about opportunities and challenges at the Young Scholar Workshop (

European CCR Award for lifetime achievement was presented to Professor Marie J. Bouchard, University of Québec in Montreal, President of CIRIEC’s International Scientific Commission on Social and Cooperative Economy, for her enormous contribution to research on cooperatives, the social economy and social innovation.

2023 UNTFSSE Ana María O’Neill Award was given to two best papers selected by the research committee: for young scholars, a paper of Louis Cousin (University of Laval, Canada) and Luc Audebrand (University of Paris-Saclay, France), titled “Cooperative associations: Frameworks of distributed leadership for collective digital innovation” was selected. For experienced researchers, a paper of Anu Puusa, Boksha Leena and Juha Kinnunen (University of Eastern Finland, Finland) was selected.

Next ICA CCR European Research Conference will be held in Dundee, Scotland, 24-26 June 2024.

For more information visit the event website or follow the hashtag #ICACCR2023 on social media.

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