ICMIF member CLIMBS continues its cooperative education journey in 2019

Thursday, 19 December 2019

A Co-operative Executive Masterclass, organised by The Co-operative College in partnership with ICMIF, took place on Monday 25 November 2019 at ICMIF’s offices near Manchester (UK). This Masterclass was organised for a delegation from ICMIF member organisation CLIMBS Life and General Insurance Cooperative (the Philippines) along with other cooperative delegates from other organisations in the Philippines.

The Masterclass focused on the following topics:

  • How do cooperative leaders think globally and act locally?
  • What values make a cooperative leader and why?
  • How to adopt a values-led, adaptive and ethical leadership approach

The November Masterclass in Manchester continued the relationship forged earlier in 2019 between CLIMBS and The Co-operative College when the CLIMBS Institute for Financial Literacy (CIFL), a subsidiary of CLIMBS Life and General Insurance Cooperative, partnered with the College to bring its certificated Executive Education Programme to the Philippines for the first time in the form of a Global Cooperative Executive Masterclass (21-23 February 2019 in Manila).

The February Masterclass was attended by more than 20 cooperators representing 16 cooperatives of various types from across the Philippines. One of the highlights of the activity was the ceremonial signing of a partnership agreement between the parties represented by Noel D. Raboy, President and CEO of CLIMBS and Simon Parkinson, the then Principal and CEO of the Co-operative College.

The partnership between CLIMBS and The Co-operative College

The initial partnership between CLIMBS and The Co-operative College came about as a result of CLIMBS’ participation in the International Cooperative Alliance Global Conference in Malaysia in November 2017. The CLIMBS Institute was presented as a sustainable and inclusive model in the training and education of cooperative leaders during a session that looked at “Cooperatives and the Future of Work”.  One of the workshop sessions on cooperative education led to meaningful talks between the two organisations on a future collaboration.

CLIMBS says it is dedicated to values of cooperation and continuous learning through its education and training arm, the CIFL, which continues to connect and equip local leaders to a global network.

CLIMBS participation in the Co-operative College Centenary Conference

Noel Raboy, President, CEO; Fr. Elmo Manching , Chair of CLIMBS; Atty. Lito Astillero, CLIMBS Director; Donna Dizon, VP - Administration and Corporate Planning and Executive Director of CIFL; and Blesilda Cumba- VP Marketing also attended The Co-operative College Centenary's Conference which took place 26-28 November in Rochdale (UK), described by the College as the highlight of its 100th year.

The three-day programme was put together by the College to provide delegates with opportunities to explore what makes cooperative education unique and how it can offer radical solutions to some of society’s biggest problems. With speakers from across the globe, delegates had the opportunity to both meet and hear from experts who are developing unique ways on how we can learn together and disrupt the current status quo, said the College.

Noel Raboy took part in the plenary session “Cooperative Education Around the World”. The session was chaired by Ed Mayo - Secretary General, Co-operatives UK and also featured panellists/speakers from the UK, Canada, Kenya and Somalia.  

The session explored how cooperative education is delivered in the above four countries and discussed which needs are these educational examples meeting in each of these regions (or for cooperators internationally) and how do they deliver their courses and programmes?  The session also looked at the impact their work is having and what opportunities and challenges the speakers see in the future for their cooperative education practice.

Donna Dizon, VP - Administration and Corporate Planning / Executive Director of CIFL, took part in a panel session entitled “Education for a Better World: Ideas, Plans and Proposals” which was chaired by Simon Parkinson and other panellists came from the UK and India.

The session looked at the big issues society faces - climate change, food poverty, the changing nature of work, both in terms of automation and working practices, a rise in violent crime and an ageing population, with the associated health and wellbeing concerns, and argued that all these issues require cooperative approaches if they are to be tackled effectively.

Panellists looked at how a renewed focus on community based, co-operative education and learning might help address the problems being faced and whether there were examples of cooperative approaches, from around the world, which have brought different groups together and helped communities to help themselves including examples from CLIMBS.

Mr Raboy describes the conference as an enriching and inspiring experience for the CLIMBS delegation, especially since delegates were taken to visit the Rochdale Pioneers Museum, where the cooperative movement started. Speaking after the event, Raboy said: “In this modern age, perhaps, there should be a shift in the mindset from being more concerned  about dividend rates and surplus, although valid, in order for cooperatives to be sustainable, to thinking about the next generation of co-operators  - our youth.  Where are they? We should come up with a programme that the youth must carry the passion and zeal of the very first cooperative leaders, the Rochdale Pioneers, on how to engage themselves in cooperatives.  Have we fully embraced and lived-out our cooperative values and principles?  We return with a new battle cry, a new revolution for the next generation of cooperators.  We need education to unify and strengthen our movement and care for our communities, making them sustainable and more resilient. That is our renewed commitment for social impact.”

Whilst in the UK, the delegation from CLIMBS took the opportunity to visit Lloyd’s of London with the help of ICMIF Supporting Member Willis Re who arranged the visit.

This concluded a month of interaction for CLIMBS with ICMIF through a number of events including the ICMIF Advanced Management Course Singapore (AMC) – 3-8 November 2019. Donna’s attendance was thanks to a scholarship given by the ICMIF Asia and Oceania Association (AOA). Several delegates from CLIMBS also attended the ICMIF Biennial Conference in Auckland (New Zealand, 12-15 November).

Photo shows: Members of the CLIMBS delegation with Simon Parkinson (formerly of The Co-operative College) and Mike Ashurst, Vice-President Reinsurance and Professional Development and Ben Telfer, Vice-President Business Intelligence, both ICMIF.