The 22nd IGA annual conference took place on Thursday, 15 November 2018, at the Eurac in Bolzano. Topic: "An idea as a driving force for the future?" read more

How did IGA evolve?

“What would you do if you had one million to spend?” a magazine asked Cologne Banker Pferdmenges, a close advisor and friend to Adenauer. He replied: “I would economize!”

Alpine cooperatives boast 100 years of success

From their rudimentary beginnings as a rural self-help group, the cooperatives successively evolved into major employers in various branches of trades.

The ever-changing environment still forces cooperatives to reconsider their original ideas time and again. The orientation towards the new century within a united Europe must already be attacked now. The task at hand requires a thorough investigation of those factors that will influence the field of cooperatives in the future.

To this end, a combined effort involving the Raiffeisen-Landesbank Tirol, both the Tyrolean and the South Tyrolean Raiffeisen Associations, as well as Innsbruck University brought into being the “International Institute of Alpine Cooperative Research” in autumn 1995. By the end of 1999 the association already totalled 58 members, including cooperative syndicates, Raiffeisen Banks, other cooperatives and individuals from all of Austria and South Tyrol. Next year we will look for new members in all federal states of Austria and additionally in Bavaria, and actively integrate them into the causes of our association.

    What are the goals of IGA?

    • Systematic review of all the factors that in the past led to both cooperative successes and failures
    • Compilation and discussion of altered fundamentals and general conditions for every cooperative
    • Attempt at reorientation
    • Possibility to visit cooperative facilities in South Tyrol - Trentino, as well as Bavaria
    • Establishing a continuous exchange of experiences among cooperatives in South Tyrol, Trentino and Bavaria (as well as between separate co-operations)
    • Possibility to discuss and clarify cooperative issues, as well as specific queries concerning separate enterprises acting as cooperatives, also at especially held conventions, that may additionally be organised together with the University of Innsbruck
    • A concise presentation of problems, as well as the drafting of a catalogue of solutions to questions that are of general importance from the point of view of cooperative entrepreneurs, but also with respect to the particular circumstances that individual cooperatives have to deal with. They shall be developed in the form of seminar papers and theses that could be assigned to students of Innsbruck University, among others.

    What needs to be done?

    Since it is required for such a complex subject to draw from knowledge, contributions and experiences from many different areas – naturally beyond our borders as well, the association will call on cooperative entrepreneurs as well as scientific institutions (universities, colleges etc.), and invite all those whom the subject concerns directly to play an active part in our work.

    We believe that it is time to contribute together to the advancement of the central cooperative idea. Our association therefore offers all interested parties the opportunity to actively participate in the creation of a contemporary, forward-looking and continuously successful field of cooperatives.

    In order to realise the given tasks within the framework of the association, it is necessary to build a technical library, assign papers on subjects closely related to cooperative business and hold events (speeches, discussions…). Annual membership and seminar fees, as well as other sources of income shall raise the necessary funds.

    We are convinced that your membership will be a considerable contribution to the advancement of the self-evident need for cooperatives, as well as to the possibility for reorientation in our modern age.

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