GICS Workshops: A closer look at the issues and collaborating for action

It was the common wish to deliver concrete solutions and bring people closer, that gave two friends the idea.

CQCM CEO, Marie-Josée Paquette

“During a planning meeting with our advisory group for this event, I said to everyone that we need to come up with a way for people to discuss and identify what they’d like to do and bring back solid ideas to their co-ops,” said Joanne Lechasseur, GICS co-founder and Director of Programs and Content. “That’s when Marie-Josée Paquette, Chief Executive Officer of the Conseil québécois de la coopération et de la mutualité, stepped in, and offered a solution that has been successful at CQCM.”

Marie-Josée, shared with the group that she has implemented a series of very structured workshops to get closer to the members and give them a platform to discuss important issues. The outcome of these discussions helps Marie-Josée and her team understand what’s important to members, which will subsequently inform CQCM’s strategic plans.

Joanne continued, “She said, ‘you should try this, and we will help. Come see for yourself how it works, come to our next activity.’  I did it, and I realized quickly that this could be the perfect solution. Now with her help, we have a structured an innovative process to bring everyone closer to facilitate conversations that will lead to ideas for concrete actions that participants can bring back home.”

“A collaborative and complete well-orchestrated learning approach is designed for all groups of participants who wish to work, create, and develop a project together,” said Marie-Josée. “At CQCM, this approach has been used by our Youth entrepreneurship advisorswith various youth audiences for several years. We now use this approach during our consultation assemblies (Assemblée de concertation) because it represents us, and it allows us to collect and understand the views and needs of our members.”

Marie-Josée also shared that this also allows them to engage members to create an action plan to address challenges such as climate change, labor shortage, diversity and inclusion, and more.

With help from the CQCM team, our workshops in Montreal will serve the same purpose and are designed for active participation and engagement. There will be a total of 12 workshops related to the three themes of cooperative leadership, circular economy, and digitalization. Each workshop will start with a 30-minute facilitated panel discussion with invited speakers and experts who will share their leadership views on specific topics.

This will be followed by 60 minutes of discussion between the participants, panelists and the facilitator, grouped into small tables, around three major questions to be explored:

  • The problems identified on the subject addressed in the workshop.
  • The levers or forces that make it possible to overcome the challenges or improve the situations identified.
  • Opportunities for inter and intra cooperative practices.

Each table will have an assigned leader to take notes and make sure the discussions remain on track.

CQCM Education Advisor, Marie-Pier Ried

At the end of each workshop, the facilitator will gather notes and information from the work conducted by the attendees. Finally, at a plenary session each workshop facilitator is required to report back to the general audience on the findings, and what was learned during the workshops.

“This workshop format helps participants to understand the difference between teamwork and cooperation,” said Marie-Pier Reid, Education Advisor for CQCM. “It is structured, provides clear roles and responsibilities for all participants and motivates them to participate in the creation of a common and collective knowledge.”

Using this workshop formula will provide an important outcome: To establish a GICS community of practice to inspire cooperatives and their friends to use available tools and achieve goals for the common good and global community.

“Our goal is to create an inspiring international community of practice so our participants can return home, and continue their discussion, and sharing good practices and innovative ideas between GICS events” said Jean-Louis Bancel, co-founder of GICS. “It is the co-op way to work together, so with GICS, we are looking forward to creating a space to facilitate this.”

In Paris 2022, cooperatives said: We want to act now to lead, fight climate change and maximize the benefits of an innovative and digital society. We listened! In Montreal we are giving cooperatives the tools they need to take action, and the space to enable the cooperation among cooperatives needed to achieve goals.

Join us to learn and share your ideas. Register now!

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