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Members' Activities 2012

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About Cooperation, Reciprocators and Co-operators

At the XIII meeting of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) held in Doha, Qatar, from 21 to 26 April 2012, the last day was devoted to the Policy Dialogue on Creative Economy and Development. A fundamental question ran through all issues and discussions: how to stimulate innovation and creative activities/businesses to promote 'a vibrant creative economy'.

It would be difficult to speak about creative economy, and especially a 'vibrant' one, without cooperation and its new forms. In his latest study, It's Cooperation, Stupid (London, IPPR, 2012), Charles Leadbeater analyses why cooperation and collaboration inspire and underpin our most innovative activities in science, culture, business. Dealing with views ranging from Adam Smith and Thomas Hobbes to Milton Friedman and Richard Dawkins, Leadbeater outlines that science is telling us that we are avant tout reciprocators and co-operators. Communication helps cooperation. The more people communicate, the easier cooperation becomes.

New forms of cooperation will be needed at every level of our lives, from the global challenges of financial instability, climate change, resource depletion and education, to the growing recognition that cooperation and relationships are essential to leading a flourishing life. What is the most important to us love, care, friendship, respect, trust comes through relationships.

Charles Leadbeater concludes his study by pointing out that cooperation policy in action and our cooperative future depend exclusively on us: our future rests on our capacity for cooperation, to generate a shared sense of collective self-belief.

Although this study does not speak directly about networks, it points out the importance of networking and networked cultures. All of us, networked through different networks in the world, are conscious of their democratic and non-discriminatory approach to diversity, openness towards the other, a widening space for dialogue and cooperation. Acting internationally, connected through networks, brings new ideas, new forms and working methods to international relations, based on democratization and the non-existence of closed structures.

This is what the study It's Cooperation, Stupid is about. Enjoy it!

Biserka Cvjeticanin