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Desjardins Group Makes a Donation to HEC Montréal’s Alphonse and Dorimène Desjardins International Institute for Cooperatives

October 4, 2023

The HEC Montréal Foundation and Alumni Relations Office is pleased to announce Desjardins Group’s ongoing collaboration with the Alphonse and Dorimène Desjardins International Institute for Cooperatives through a pledge of $1,250,000 over the next five years.


“Today, more than ever before, co-ops need access to the latest knowledge so they can grow and innovate. Renewing this partnership with the Institute will let Desjardins reach out to and connect with more co-ops here in Quebec and beyond. This initiative will also cement Montreal’s status as a hub for world-class research and expertise in this area.”

Guy Cormier, Desjardins Group President and CEO

Caroline Aubé, HEC Montréal’s Director, Research and Knowledge Transfer, recognized the significance of this major donation from Desjardins Group: “This will enable the Institute to continue its remarkable efforts to better understand and promote the role of cooperatives in the economy and society. This support will also be leveraged in the Institute’s ongoing quest for excellence in four main fields of activity, namely the CoopGateway, student community, research and knowledge transfer.”

Forward-looking projects

In the coming years, this renewed partnership will empower the Institute to accelerate the growth and reach of CoopGateway and ensure it is underpinned by a governance structure built around cooperative and mutual values. This unique platform, the world’s largest digital library serving the cooperative and mutual sector, introduced its first circular economy collection in 2022–2023.


The Institute will also vigorously pursue its work to raise awareness about cooperatives within the student community. This aspect grew considerably in 2022–2023, with the Institute hosting six activities, working closely with seven organizations, supporting nine master’s-level projects, creating the ÉduCOOP research scholarships in conjunction with the Conseil québécois de la coopération et de la mutualité (CQCM), handing out six scholarships and three awards, and developing an internship and integration project framework.


The research team led by the Institute’s Director, Rafael Ziegler, will likewise take advantage of this donation to move forward with the project entitled Social economy embedding circular economy: theory, practice and potential — An international partnership. This project was awarded funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council earlier in the year. In terms of knowledge transfer, the Institute will direct a portion of the funds received toward the development of training initiatives focusing on cooperative management using a hands-on, innovation-based approach. One of these initiatives is a course on cooperative and mutual management entitled Gestion des coopératives et des mutuelles : au cœur d’un mouvement. It was launched in February 2023, jointly with the Université du Québec à Montréal, Université Laval, Université de Sherbrooke, CQCM and the Comité sectoriel de main-d’œuvre de l’économie sociale et de l’action communautaire.


“Game-changing projects like these, coupled with the outstanding commitment of corporate partners such as Desjardins Group, will enable HEC Montréal to sharpen its innovative capabilities and have a decisive impact on the entire community and society as a whole.”

Michel Patry, President and CEO of the HEC Montréal Foundation


Alumni + Foundation > News > 2023 > Desjardins Group Makes a Donation to HEC Montréal’s Alphonse and Dorimène Desjardins International Institute for Cooperatives