The 21st IGA annual conference will take place on Friday, 10 November 2017 in Innsbruck at the Hilton Hotel. Topic: "Do we still need cooperatives?" read more

The 13th IGA Convention took place on 14 November 2008 in Innsbruck

The 13th annual conference of the International Institute of Alpine Cooperative Research took place in 2008 in Innsbruck. Its general topic was “The responsibility of cooperatives for economics and society”. Three initial presentations constituted the basis for the following discussion, as this issue – due to the latest developments in the financial markets – gained unexpected relevance.

In his presentation “Single economic aims in challenge with social responsibility”, Prof Dietmar Rößl of the University of Economics and Business in Vienna analysed the different initial positions and demonstrated convincingly that single economic aims do not have to be contrary to social responsibility. The long term orientation of the pursuit of advantages – generally pronounced strongly by cooperatives – is also of particular importance from a responsibility perspective.

A particular aspect of responsibility of cooperatives was demonstrated by Dr Rudi Rienzer, executive of the Raiffeisenenergieverband in South Tyrol, in his explanations about “Environmental protection – another field of responsibility for cooperatives” when highlighting the efforts in South Tyrol for reaching entire independence from fossil energy by creating regenerative energy systems. These attempts constitute not only an economically worthwhile alternative to increasing prices for oil; they also help keeping added value in particular regions.

After a short introduction of his bank – the Raiffeisenbank Pfaffenhausen – and with the help of concrete examples, board member Mr Hermann Kerler pointed out possible important impulses of a cooperative bank for the economy in their own region. These examples showed clearly that offering several common banking services is not the only important aspect. Of course, the profitability should not be disregarded.

In the following discussion, moderated by advocate Ms Regina Wenninger, Board of Director’s staff and communication in the Genossenschaftsverband Bayern, further aspects were illuminated and explanations of the impulse presentations were engrossed. After the meeting, each participant was provided with a huge amount of food for thought and could gain the conviction that the purpose of responsibility of cooperatives for economy and society is not only empty words but a matter in actual practice.

In the name of the IGA I want to thank the speakers for their being ready to present their ideas to the general public by printing this volume 14 of the cooperative series.

Arnulf Perkounigg

    © International Institute of Alpine Cooperative Research  Legal Notice