ILO contributes a message on cooperatives at the Urban and Rural Development Week of EXPO2020 Dubai

News | 09 November 2020
The ILO COOP Unit Manager Simel Esim delivered a message on how cooperatives can contribute to a better future for rural communities during the pre-events at Dubai Expo 2020 on November 4th.

Expo 2020 activities were postponed till 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead a series of Pre-Expo virtual events are being held from October 2020 to March 2021. Expos are global events centered around a theme addressing fundamental challenges the world faces. Gathering nations from around the world, they are a stage for innovations and solutions and an invitation to explore a theme through engaging and immersive discoveries. 

Urban and Rural Development Week
was the third in a series of the pr-Expo thematic weeks bringing together thought leaders to discuss and explore solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. During the two days of the urban and rural development week on November 3-4, 2020, development experts and technology visionaries gathered to rethink the way habitats are designed and managed. The main message that emerged from the two weeks was that as societies change faster than ever, and as we come to terms with the realities of a global pandemic, we must strengthen our sense of community and design urban spaces that make our cities and neighborhoods more inclusive and sustainable.

Speaking on the second day of the Urban and Rural Development Week on November 4th, Simel Esim noted how historically during periods of crises people often turn to cooperative solutions. She underlined that there are growing calls for non-traditional business models. She suggested that while cooperatives have a rich tradition, their values and principles have enabled them to continually adapt and innovate. She pointed out to the emergence of a generation of cooperatives leading the transition to community-owned renewable energy, developing and democratizing new technologies, and repairing damaged ecosystems. She concluded by noting that they offer a model for living, growing, and thriving together in harmony with our planet.

The recording for the second day of the Urban and Rural Development week is available here. (Simel Esim’s intervention can be viewed and heard between 1hr52min30sec and 2hrs00min00sec of the recording).

More information on the ILO at Expo 2020 is available here.

The programme of the Urban and Rural Development Week at Expo 2020 is available here.