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Organizer and local partners


The 17th ICA Asia-Pacific Research Conference is proposed to be held in Manila, the Philippines from 4-5 November 2023 hosted by the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP). The conference is organized by the International Cooperative Alliance Asia and Pacific (ICA-AP) Committee on Cooperative Research (CCR) and the Department of Cooperatives and Social Development at PUP to bring together academics and researchers on cooperatives in the Asia-Pacific region. Based on the situation of the coronavirus pandemic, the conference will explore using a hybrid model, combining online and physical meetings to showcase the presentation of papers and discussion.


Main theme and topics


The year 2023 marks the mid-point of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2015, the Heads of State and Government and High Representatives, meeting at the United Nations (UN) signed on to the Transforming our World Agenda that set a course to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all by 2030. The UN will carry out the second SDG Summit in September 2023 to review the state of the SDGs and provide high-level guidance on actions leading up to the target year of 2030 for achieving the SDGs.


The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes “the role of the diverse private sector, ranging from micro-enterprises to cooperatives to multinational corporations” in its implementation.


Cooperatives are recognized as important partners to achieve the SDGs, because they promote democracy, enhance income, foster social inclusion, care for the environment, and have a significant economic impact on the economy. Self-help and empowerment, enhancing local resources and capacities and reinvesting surpluses guide cooperatives to respond to local community needs and objectives. Cooperative enterprises support and promote a vision of Sustainable Development based on a triple bottom line approach: economic, social, and environmental.


Cooperatives across the Asia-Pacific region are actively involved in the implementation of the SDGs. The work of cooperatives cuts across all the SDGs given the diverse sectors in which cooperatives operate - agriculture, banking and credit, consumer, health, work etc. The efforts by cooperatives have been recognized and are reflected in national SDG plans and in the Voluntary National Reviews of many countries.


Corporations have also been powerful engines for economic growth and job creation. Many of them are interested in going beyond Corporate Social Responsibility in supporting sustainable development. There is a demand from people, civil society, and Governments for the private sector to contribute to a transformative recovery from COVID-19 and accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. It is now evermore essential for the private sector to embed principles of sustainability in their ways of working, set ambitious targets, and act with partners to deliver the 2030 Agenda. Only through collective action can society build back better from the global pandemic and become more resilient on a trajectory to achieve the SDGs.


The Covid-19 pandemic, socio-political conflicts, worsening economic conditions, and irreparable climate change have given a wake-up call to the world that we are indeed sitting on a ticking bomb! Cooperatives, with their human-centric model, concern for community, and values and principles, have proven time and again that a better world is possible with cooperation. Corporate Social Responsibility is a management concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and interactions with their stakeholders. This is why having a collective view of the 2030 agenda and working collaboratively towards it will only strengthen the mission.


The Conference will bring cooperatives and corporations together for mutual exchange and peer learning to promote accelerated actions for progress in Sustainable Development. It will launch a series of discussions that will seek to promote multi-stakeholder collaboration for Sustainable Development.


Based on the above perspectives, the conference aims to address a wide range of topics from different scientific fields and traditions, including – among others:


  • Coordination between cooperatives and corporations, Government, peoples’ organizations and non-government organizations.
  • Corporate social responsibility, creating shared value, stakeholder engagement etc.
  • Policy and legal frameworks, public private partnership, enabling environment etc.
  • Governing commons through cooperatives: resources, irrigation, agriculture, fisheries etc.
  • New areas, Services and Advocacy: Health and medical care, elderly care, childcare, energy platforms, transportation, education-advocacy programs, etc.
  • Digital platforms and adoption of technology
  • Circular economy: Equity, transparency, and resilience
  • Addressing internal challenges and adapting to external conditions


The above thematic topics are NOT exclusive and shall be re-defined based on the received submissions.




Researchers interested to present their papers at the conference, need to submit an abstract of not more than 600 words that should broadly include the research question, methodology, likely contribution to the field of knowledge and relevant literature. The abstracts should be submitted in the following format:


  • Name(s) and affiliations of Authors
  • Main theme/ objective of the paper
  • Methodological and/or Conceptual approach
  • Bibliography, Keywords and Contact details for the corresponding author(s).


Poster proposals may also be sent, especially by young researchers, postgraduate and doctoral students. All abstracts should reach the conference secretariat at (cc: on or before 10 August 2023.


Young Scholars and Early Career Researchers’ Workshop


On the first day of the conference, a dedicated workshop will be organized for young scholars and early career researchers in order to cultivate and enhance an interdisciplinary collaboration. The workshop will be an opportunity for these scholars to present their research in a friendly environment and be provided constructive feedback and support from senior academic researchers in the field. The organizers will provide a select number of scholarships to cover the cost of travel and accommodation (if any), on merit-cum-need basis.


Young Researcher Award


The ICA-AP CCR will bestow two meritorious papers with Dr. Mauritz Bonow Young Researcher Award (US$ 500 and US$ 300) to researchers not over 35 years of age, presenting their papers in the conference.




The organisers are exploring various options to publish peer-reviewed research papers with reputed journals and book publishers. All presented full papers will be published in the conference proceeding (ISBN registered).



Scientific Committee


  1. Akira Kurimoto (Hosei University, Japan)
  2. Kim Ahyoung (iCOOP Institute, South Korea)
  3. Sidsel Grimstrad (Griffith University, Australia)
  4. Yashavantha Dongre (Chanakya University, India)
  5. Hilda F. San Gabriel (Polytechnic University of the Philippines)
  6. Raul R. Sebastian (Polytechnic University of the Philippines)


Organising Committee


  1. Hilda San Gabriel, PUP-Department of Cooperatives and Social Development
  2. Angelita S. Villaruel, PUP-Department of Cooperatives and Social Development
  3. Mohit Dave, ICA Asia and Pacific



Event start date:
Saturday, November 4, 2023
Event end date:
Sunday, November 5, 2023
Venue: Manila, Philippines