Opening Ceremony of APCYS 3.0

As part of the ICA-EU Partnership Framework, ICA-AP along with ICYC and the ICA Domus Trust organised the third edition of the Asia Pacific Cooperative Youth Summit (APCYS 3.0) in July 2021. The theme this year was ‘Celebrating Youth as Torchbearers of the Cooperative Identity.’ The Summit, held virtually, received over 3,500 registrations from 23 Countries – Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroun, CANADA, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kenya, KIRIBATI, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Uganda, and Vietnam.

The Summit featured 30 speakers from 16 countries including Ms. Zahra Al-Hilaly, Australian Representative to UN Women’s Generation Equality Youth Task Force and Dr. P. A. Kiriwandeniya, the Founder and Visionary Leader of the SANASA Movement in Sri Lanka as keynote speakers. Ms. Zahra called upon the youth to find their passion and start by making small changes to carve the society that they want. Dr. Kiriwandeniya shared his real-life experiences of building a national cooperative movement that was inspirational for the participants.

APCYS 3.0 comprised a mix of case studies, inspirational talks, and experiential learning sessions. In the session on Spotlight on Coop Youth Entrepreneurs, six young speakers, who are at the forefront of starting or have started new cooperatives to address needs in their communities shared their work and experiences. The session on Student Cooperative Clubs in Asia and Pacific - Precursor to Community Leadership revolved around how Student Cooperative Clubs are precursors to youth leadership and introduced participants to unique and essential skills that are useful and relevant for community leadership. It featured an experiential learning group activity to understand what it takes to form a campus cooperative.

The Summit aimed to facilitate cultural exchange, share experiences, and enjoy the spirit of cooperation. Participants got the opportunity to listen to the inspirational journey of a young entrepreneur Deepak Ramola, Founder and Artistic Director of Project FUEL. He is on a mission to collect wisdom from people while travelling the world and share it in the form of life lessons through innovative education methods. The Summit culminated in a panel discussion on Enabling Environment forYouth in Cooperatives with experts who discussed various facets of youth participation that can be encouraged, the inhibiting factors, and how an enabling environment can be fostered for youth in the cooperative ecosystem. Other sessions on Youth Engagement in Asia and Pacific, Cooperative Identity, Cooperative Cinema (featuring a documentary by on a micro- finance cooperative, Bhabishya Nirman Sana Kishan from Nepal), and the Cultural Show were beneficial for the participants to understand the thematic aspects of the Summit. The session recordings are available on the ICA-AP Youtube Channel.

An Inspirational talk being delivered by Mr. Deepak Ramola, Founder and Artistic Director of Project FUEL, India
Coop Pitch 2021

A key highlight of APCYS is the Coop Pitch Competition, designed to find new and sustainable enterprise ideas on cooperatives led by youth. Participants undergo guidance and mentoring to firm up their cooperative business plans and pitch these to a judging panel.

Iranian folk music performance during cultural session at APCYS 3.0

Coop Pitch 2021 received 56 entries from nine countries – Afghanistan, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, and Vietnam. The three winners of Coop Pitch 2021 were 1) Eco-Clean (Indonesia), a platform cooperative for cleaning-service providers; 2) Himalayan Hemp Cooperative (India), a community of artisans and farmers creating eco-conscious products; and 3) Udara Cooperative (Malaysia), food production through aquaponics systems.

The winners received cash prizes worth USD 3,000 (first prize, USD 1,500 and second prize, USD 1,000 sponsored by AMUL and the third prize, USD 500 by the ICA Domus Trust), guidance and mentorship support to further develop, validate and implement their cooperative ideas.

Iranian folk music performance during cultural session at APCYS 3.0