Description: A body formed in 1895 to unite, represent and serve cooperatives throughout the world
What is good: Advocacy of cooperation as a way of doing business
HQ Location and Country: Belgium
Operation locations: Regional Offices in Europe (Belgium), Africa (Nairobi), Americas (San Jose) and Asia Pacific (New Delhi)

The International Cooperative Alliance was formed in 1895 and is the global advocacy group for cooperatives. It works to unite, promote and develop cooperatives. Cooperatives exist throughout the world and represent 10% of the worlds employed population generating $2.1 trillion in annual turnover.

How it shows

Just doing it; working in a cooperative is the epitome of believing on cooperation and then just doing it.


Wide engagement; Its member organizations are exemplars of cooperation and the organization itself illustrates wide engagement, it is consulting its membership on its direction for the next decade (starting 2022)

Sustainable practice; The organization seeks to support sustainability and action against climate change, but just in terms of the organizations ability to sustain itself this was one of the few international organizations to survive both World War I and World War II

All co-operatives subscribe to the seven cooperative principles

  1. Voluntary and Open Membership
  2. Democratic Member Control
  3. Member Economic Participation
  4. Autonomy and Independence
  5. Education, Training, and Information
  6. Cooperation among Cooperatives
  7. Concern for Community

Find out more about these principles which characterise cooperstives here