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Meeting on Cooperative Culture and Education in Rome

“Percorsi di valore” is the title of the annual meeting of Coopfond, the mutual fund of Legacoop. The meeting was held on 18 July in Rome in the Roman Aquarium. At the center of the work day, the themes of cooperative culture and managerial training, aspects on which Coopfond’s financial and planning commitment has focused over the years.

This is one of the functions that the italian law 59 of 1992 gave to mutual funds, on the other hand these themes represent the bridge with the future, the instrument for building the tomorrow’s cooperation.

For these reasons they decided to talk about in a table with experts from different points of view, and to do that in the same day of the presentation of their social reporting. It was illustrated by Aldo Soldi, general manager of the fund, in the early part of the morning, looking back on the actions that look to the future: supporting for the startup of new cooperatives through Coopstartup and Workers by Out (cooperatives funded by employees recapturing companies in crisis), the many initiatives for the spread of cooperative culture and education, the defense of some important cooperatives.

The fund is fed by the 3% of the cooperative’s profits, so it has a redistributive nature that is the basis of mutualism: the profits of larger and structured cooperatives can support the development projects of smaller ones or new initiatives.

The meeting promosed a discussion centered not only on the main action already done, but also and above all to guide the work of the next  years. The first round table has involved experts working on the development of cooperative managerial skills: Raffaella Curioni, Chairman of Quadir and Enrico Parsi, Director of Scuola Coop, Consumers’ Training Consortium, Mattia Granata, responsible for Legacoop’s Cooperative Studies and Culture Center.

There are several points to reflect about: a demand for training that paradoxically falls as the manager grows in the professional career and is almost always tied to technical training; The way to organize the work into companies, increasingly oriented to the solution of urgencies, while the production of the new ideas would require longer times; Opportunities for spaces where cooperative managers can share and stay together.

The most important starting point is that the co-operative managers are not only good managers, and cooperative formation should be centered on values ​​and how these become the center and the true origin of managerial action.

The next roundtable, “Knowledge and Training: Strategic Development lever”, discussed with the moderation of Enrico Fontana, science experts such as Fabio Beltram of Pisa’s Normale School and Guido Caldarelli of IMT Lucca, LIMS London and Catchy, the Sociologist Leonardo Palmisano, chairman of Radici Future, Katia De Luca coordinator of Generazioni, the national committee of young cooperators of Legacoop and Mauro Lusetti, chairman of Legacoop Nazionale, in addition to the video interview of Mrs. Silvia Costa, president of the Culture Committee of the European Parliament.

From the roundtable we get many ideas: the importance of abolishing, during training, the questions that have answers that are already known, the need to integrate humanism and scientific culture, strengthen networks and connections to learn and produce knowledge, fostering the entrepreneurial skills of young people without underestimating self-learning and the possibilities of co-building training paths. Lastly, the strong message of necessity, for cooperation, of building an idea of ​​future, reiterated by Lusetti, overcoming the risk of homologation and strengthening instead the cooperative values, the real way through which cooperation today can reach young people. Valeria Fedeli, Minister of Education, University and Research, recalled the active role of co-operation in promoting concrete actions for sustainability at the heart of Agenda 2030, digitized as a transversal tool which allows for didactic innovation, the work on the “University’s third mission”, that is the entrepreneurial one.

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