Cooperatives for Sustainable Development

Francesca Gagliardi & David Gindis

Cooperatives for Sustainable Development

Small Group Project 2021

This projects brings together an interdisciplinary team of researchers for a two-day workshop on the role of cooperative firms in fostering sustainable development in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which sets a course to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Cooperatives are recognized as important vectors for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), because they promote democracy, ensure fair income distribution, foster social inclusion, and care for the environment. However, as noted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) in a joint initiative last year, while cooperatives are central to the realization of sus¬tainable development around the world, their focus on members and local community needs diminishes their national and interna¬tional visibility, and adversely affects their potential contribution to the design and realization of SDGs. The purpose of the workshop is to bring together a group of scholars with significant expertise in social and economics organisation in view of integrating their research findings into a comprehensive analysis of cooperative firms that will help promote the view that cooperatives are key players in sustainable development in today’s global political economy. On an analytical level, the workshop will reflect on the interdisciplinary tools that can be fruitfully borrowed from various traditions of institutional research across the social sciences to advance our understanding of the mechanisms that enable cooperatives to significantly contribute to sustainable development. On a methodological level, the team’s diverse range of qualitative and quantitative skills will create a rare opportunity to design and conduct a wide range of empirical studies. Overall, the project would therefore advance the ISRF’s goal of promoting interdisciplinary research that develops new knowledge and solves contemporary theoretical and practical problems.

Contacting Fellows

If you would like to contact any of our Fellows to discuss their ISRF-funded work, please contact Dr Lars Cornelissen (Academic Editor) in the first instance, at