International Conference 2018

Challenges of Sustainable Development and Social Impacts on Cooperatives and Social Enterprises

August 3 – 4, 2018 Rama Gardens Hotel Bangkok

Since the declaration of UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) in 2015, the surge of sustainable development has been challenged by capitalism and globalization. The rapid development of information technology concomitant with the recovery of the world economy make the whole economies to focus mainly on the target of economic growth but leaving other targets such as equally distribution of income and the better standard of livings to be the second priorities. Moreover, the arising of the notorious social issues related cooperatives and social enterprises such as the abandonment of original purposes, the perception of large member dominance, corruption, poor management, overly sensitive to member concerns and etc. will deteriorate the significance of these organizations as the core organizations employed to promote SDGs and as the business organizations to promote benefits for their members.

Although, there exist the scandalous cases of cooperatives and social enterprises, there also empirically exist the successful cases of these organizations to promote the sustainable development such as Mondragon Corporation (a corporation and federation of worker cooperatives in Spain), Coop Swiss (The largest retail and wholesale cooperative society in Switzerland), Arla Foods (an international cooperative based in Denmark, and the largest producer of dairy products in Scandinavia) and etc. The presence of these outstanding cooperatives and social enterprises reveal the facts that the implementation of cooperative principles and the idea of the sustainable development must work together so as to make these enterprises to survive and steadily grow under the intense level of competitiveness.

Nowadays, people cherishing in cooperative principles believe that cooperatives and social enterprises can be used to solve the fundamental problems related to the well beings of human lives. Moreover, all of these enterprises play a key role in achieving the SDGs in many fields including food securities, poverty and inequality reduction, economic growth spurring, productivity improvement, production and consumption responsibilities, and etc.

Due to these reasons, Department of Cooperatives, Faculty of Economics, Kasetsart University will host the international conference 2018 under the theme “Challenges of Sustainable Development and Social Impacts on Cooperatives and Social Enterprises”. The conference will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, from August 3 – 4, 2018.

We welcome researchers, policy makers, practitioners, students, social enterprises and social economy sectors to share their experiences in any issues related to co-operatives and sustainable development. We hope that this conference will bring together various concerned groups to discuss about the prospects, the conditions and the key success factors of cooperatives and social enterprises to apply the concept of sustainable development to overcome the scandalous issues in these enterprises as well as to facilitate the development of these enterprises at the local, national and international levels.