UNESCO has added cooperatives to the list of intangible cultural assets. Cooperatives are among the sixteen new entries added to the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The decision was adopted by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which took place on 2 December in Ethiopia.
The list of intangible heritage now includes the idea and practice of organising shared interests in co-operatives. The list describes cooperative as entities that “allow for community building through shared interests and values creating innovative solutions to societal problems, from generating employment and assisting seniors to urban revitalisation and renewable energy projects”.
Earlier this year, the correspondence collection of Robert Owen, founder of the co-operative movement, was also added to the UNESCO Memory of the World.