Editor’s Note: This is the first article in an ongoing series by Kris White on the seven cooperative principles, adopted and revised by the International Cooperative Alliance. Be sure to check back over the coming weeks as Kris continues to expatiate upon these seven core principles and values. Feel free to join in the discussion below.
In 1895, the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) was formed “to unite, represent, and serve co-operatives worldwide.” The ICA represents 308 cooperative federations and organizations across 107 countries (April 2018). The members of the Alliance are national level cooperative federations, individual cooperative organizations, and government offices concerned with cooperatives. The ICA defines a cooperative as an “autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.”