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                                                                                                                                                                                                  Coops Speak has been our endeavour to connect our audience on social media with co-operative experts via Twitter. It’s a simple concept, where all you need is a Twitter account and you can log in at the designated time and ask questions to the speaker using the hashtag #CoopsSpeak, as well as tagging the speaker’s account. We have hosted front runners from our membership like Melina Morrison, Elenita San Roque and Adleen Karajah. We were fortunate to have Ms. Simel Esim join us for the fourth edition of Coops Speak. Ms. Esim is the Head, Cooperatives Unit at the International Labour Organization in Geneva.  



She took questions on co-operatives and how they intersect with youth employment as well as ILO’s initiative on the ‘future of work’. 


On the question of how can we effectively reach out to the youth in schools and universities, Ms. Esim said that integrating co-operatives in the school curriculum as well as having co-operative clubs is essential. She mentioned that she was the head of the co-operative student club in school when she was in the first grade! She said that economic and environmental challenges push youth to migrate, and in such scenarios there is a burning need for self-help and solidarity. Coop internships would be a great way of not only imparting learning, but also giving the youth some hands-on experience. Ms. Esim agreed that it’s a good idea to have Youth Councils, but we need these innovations to take place on a large scale to really put co-ops on the map.  


According to Ms. Esim, ILO’s focus on the future of work is not only about adapting to technology and environmental change, but also about creating and sustaining a moral economy. She highlighted that energy/environment and care are two growth sectors for the future of work, which are also labour intensive and create enough scope for employment opportunities for the youth.



As part of her conversation she shared an informative presentation on youth and co-operatives which can be accessed here. We urge you to follow our future Coops Speak chats by searching for the #coopsspeak hashtag on Twitter.