March 13, 2019, Leuven/Belgium
Upon invitation of Cera/BE and the IRU Secretariat General, the IRU working group met to discuss the topic of “youth & cooperatives”.
Having just celebrated 200 years of Raiffeisen and 50 years of IRU in 2018, the IRU member organizations increasingly look towards the future and to securing their sustainable business model. The next generation of cooperative members, staff, representatives and managers is more and more moving into the focus in many member countries.
The awareness of the importance of young people for the future development of the cooperative system is definitely rising. At the same time, as the many examples of newly established cooperatives in innovative fields of business prove, cooperatives offer perspectives for the young generation to personally get engaged in sustainable business.
The working group had an exchange on different country cases, ways of introducing the cooperative system to young people and how to attract them not only as customers of cooperatives, but also as cooperative members or even founders.
The exchange between representatives of IRU member organizations from Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxemburg and Switzerland was a good take-off point for starting and/or expanding their activities in this field.