International Cooperative Innovation Award

OCDC & International Research Group

There is nothing cookie-cutter about creating a more equitable and sustainable world. It takes new ideas, new strategies, new models — and the courage to put them into action. The U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council wants 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 are:

  • 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:

  • Name, organization, contact information, and a brief biography focusing on their cooperative background. (For the nomination form, go to
  • Description of their innovative cooperative development practices.

Press Release and Nomination Form

Nominations are due August 1. Selection will be made by a committee of OCDC board members and management. The awardee(s) will be announced on September 1. The International Cooperative Innovation Award will be presented at the Cooperative Impact Conference, October 7-9.

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