International Cooperative Innovation Award


The International Cooperative Innovation Award. There is nothing cookie-cutter about creating a more equitable and sustainable world. It takes new ideas, new strategies, new approaches — and the courage to put them into action.

The U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council (OCDC) seeks to identify, recognize, and celebrate those international cooperative development innovators who continue to advance co-ops as a grassroots, sustainable business model for developing economies. In 2019 we created the OCDC Cooperative International Cooperative Innovation Award. This prestigious, annual award focuses on individuals of any age or years of experience who are active in the international cooperative development arena. Both current and past contributions will be recognized.

Criteria for the International Cooperative Innovation Award | Candidates’ contributions should focus on:

  • Innovation: Promotes and puts into action new ideas for improving the cooperative business model and cooperative development methodology.
  • Sustainability: Contributes to innovative and financially sustainable cooperative activities that significantly benefit co-op members. Achieves identifiable and lasting changes to improve and promote cooperatives.
  • Co-op advancement: Inspires and persuades others to action in advancing the cooperative system.
  • Leadership: Shows leadership, personal commitment, and vision for implementing cooperative practices locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally.
  • New Practices: Adapts traditional practices used in non-traditional ways to improve performance for members, raise the profile of cooperatives, or champion the most vulnerable.

To nominate a candidate: Submit a nomination, not to exceed 2 double-spaced pages, that includes:

  • Submitter’s contact information
  • Nominee’s contact information
  • Nominee’s brief biography focusing on their cooperative background.
  • Description of the nominee’s innovative cooperative development

Nominations are EXTENDED to September 17, 2021. Email the nomination by 5pm EST to LuAnn Werner at Selections will be made by the OCDC board of directors and management; awardee(s) will be notified around September 27th. The award will be presented at the 2021 Cooperative Impact Conference, October 4-8, 2021.

The U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council (OCDC) brings together nine organizational members committed to building a more prosperous world through cooperatives. Its mission is to champion, advocate, and promote effective international cooperative development. OCDC’s members are Equal Exchange, Frontier Co-op, GENEX, Global Communities, HealthPartners, Land O’Lakes Venture37, NCBA CLUSA, NRECA International and World Council of Credit Unions.

International Cooperative Research Group (ICRG) is a division within OCDC that conducts academically rigorous research to support and enhance cooperative development, develops application tools, and facilitates learning amongst its member cooperative development organizations, other cooperatives and the international development community. This research is supported by the Cooperative Development Program from USAID. You can get a PDF copy of the nomination announcement here.

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