I recently attended a conference given by Marie Bernard-Meunier, a career diplomat who was the Canadian ambassador to Germany from 2000 to 2004. She is indeed a diplomat. Although diplomacy is not a topic I talk about on a daily basis, unless it relates to the ability of saying something unpleasant in a manner that will not offend the party. However, with Marie Bernard-Meunier, it was rather the core function on the international stage that was examined.
Some questions have plagued mankind since the beginning of time. Questions like what the good life is all about, for example. What does that mean? Is it perhaps a happy and accomplished life that allows a person to develop their talents, to feel useful and to know joy? We all dream of this good life. But what road leads us there? Robert Waldinger, psychiatrist from Harvard University, has studied the question extensively.
“Cooperation is an antidote to ageing.” It is a rather shocking image, but it is not without its share of truth.
In the heart of the Spanish Basque Country, Mondragon Cooperative Corporation’s head office is the picture of prosperity. We are greeted in a small, comfortable cinema room, art fills the walls and a scale model of the Mondragon complex reigns in a vast and luminous hall where we soon gather. Pointing to the model, an employee comments: “This is one of our supermarkets; here is one of our research centres and one of the university’s buildings and over there is one of our plants…”
Cécile Le Corroller, a Doctor of Economics and an associate fellow with the Centre de recherche en économie et management (France), took a closer look at the potential for innovation with large cooperative enterprises.