October 8, 2014
The objectives of the Institute will be to promote the development of advanced research into financial cooperatives and encourage research into non-financial cooperatives. As well as offering a forum for different players in the cooperative movement, where they can meet, debate and learn, it will foster and support the development and sharing of best practices in the management of cooperatives, reflecting the needs of the cooperative community.
For Monique F. Leroux, President and CEO of Mouvement Desjardins, “The Institute will play an important role in developing and sharing knowledge on managing cooperatives. It will highlight the strengths and challenges inherent in this business model and give cooperative managers useful tools for improving their organization’s performance.”
A future global reference on cooperatives
“HEC Montréal has long aspired to be an international player in research into cooperatives,” explains HEC Montréal Director Michel Patry. “Now the creation of this unique institute has made it possible for us to support research into the management of cooperatives worldwide.”
The Institute will fulfil its ambitious mandate under the direction of Rym Ayadi, a world-class and globally renowned researcher who was recently appointed a Visiting Professor with the School’s Department of International Business.
“As Director of the Institute, I plan to set up a research program to expand on our knowledge of financial services cooperatives and their role in the existing system,” says Ms. Ayadi. “We will be trying to determine how they can contribute to building a more stable financial system in the long term, one that encourages economic development.”
Professor Ayadi will also be supported by an International Board of Governors, chaired by Monique F. Leroux, which will bring together major names in the global cooperative community, in particular the heads of large cooperatives and internationally renowned researchers.
The Institute will also facilitate access to research on cooperatives, through the International Observatory on Cooperatives, in addition to creating an international discussion and networking hub for key players in cooperative management. Its Centre for Expertise and Knowledge Transfer on the Management of Cooperatives will organize various knowledge transfer and training activities in collaboration with the community, so as to respond to the needs of members of the cooperative movement, more specifically through symposiums, roundtables, workshops for managers and online courses.
The Institute is already in operation and has published its first Banking Business Models Monitor for Europe, in conjunction with the second International Summit of Cooperatives. Other publications will follow, focusing on other parts of the world.
Rym Ayadi, Director, Alphonse and Dorimène Desjardins International Institute for Cooperatives; Monique F. Leroux, President and CEO, Mouvement Desjardins; Jacques Robert, Director, Information Technologies Department, HEC Montréal.
Photo: Desjardins/Claude Côté.