Bruno Roelants

Former General Director of the International Cooperative Alliance Dg 2018 – 2023

Former Secretary General of CICOPA SG & CECOP CICOPA-Europe 2002 – 2018

Consultant in cooperatives and international development

Bruno Roelants has been working in the co-operative sector across the globe for nearly 50 years. Since the 1970s, he has lived and worked with co-ops in Italy, China, and France, as well as the Netherlands,- and the Geneva region with field work in India, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Canada and Central-Eastern European countries.

From 2002 until 2018 he served as Secretary General of CICOPA, where he supported the elaboration and approval of international standards of worker cooperatives (2002-2005) and social cooperatives (2008-2011) complementary to the ICA Statement on the Cooperative Identity; two world conferences (Oslo 2003 and Cartagena 2005) plus the special conference “Global Worker Cooperative Day” for the UN International Year of Cooperatives in Marseille in 2012. 

He simultaneously served as Secretary General of CECOP CICOPA-Europe from 2005 until 2018, when he began a five-year mandate as the General Director of the International Co-op Alliance, where he oversaw growth in ICA membership, a new 10-year strategic plan, and numerous international policy initiatives, conferences, publications and working groups, despite the 2020 pandemic. In particular, he oversaw the whole organisation of the ICA 33rd World Cooperative Congress in Seoul in 2021.

He completed his mandate with the ICA in March 2023, and is now working as an independent consultant in co-operatives and international development.

Margaret Tusz-King

Aster Group Environmental Consulting Co-operative

Margaret Tusz-King is a member of Aster Group Environmental Consulting Co-operative in Sackville, NB where she works both in the community and at Mount Allison University’s Meighen Centre in support of students challenged by disability or mental illness. Margaret’s varied career includes pharmacy management and research; cross-cultural work with indigenous peoples; co-op business development; elected government; adult education; and community leadership. A former trainer of Mental Health First Aid and a local expert in neurodiversity, Margaret has an integrated understanding of some of the things that help keep people well during trying times. This workshop will provide a framework for finding and maintaining balance, for healthy lives and workplaces

Back to Fundamentals: A Rubric for Mental Health for Life and Work 

Rebecca Kemble

Solidarity Economy

Rebecca Kemble is a worker-owner at Union Cab of Madison Cooperative in Ho Chunk territory, otherwise known as Madison, WI. She served on the Board and as President of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives from 2009 – 2015, also serving in various roles in CICOPA and its regional and sub-regional bodies. In 2015 Rebecca was elected to the Madison Common Council where she served three terms, promoting the solidarity economy, police accountability, and expansion of the commons. She has been working on the Solidarity Economy Principles Project since its inception in late 2020.

The Solidarity Economy Principles Project

Karine Awashish

Worker-member and co-founder of  Nitaskinan Coop, PhD Student in Sociology at Laval University

Originally from the Atikamekw community of Obedjiwan, Karine Awashish’s personal and professional goals focus on the cultural and identity-based affirmation of Indigenous communities. She holds a Master’s degree in Recreation, Culture and Tourism from the University of Quebec ( in Trois-Rivières) and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Quebec. She is currently pursuing Doctoral studies in Sociology at Laval University. Her research interests include cooperation, social transformation, and the contributions of Indigenous knowledge to the Sciences. 

With her  professional experience in the socio-economic development of First Nation communities in Quebec, she co-founded Nitaskinan Co-op, a solidarity cooperative that allows for the completion of collective social and cultural projects. While contributing to the cultural standing of the Atikamekw, she is actively involved in youth development and the dissemination of Indigenous culture and arts. 

Cooperation for Self-Determination in Indigenous Communities

Simon Kubski

Strategy Lead at Percolab Coop

For over a decade Simon has worked as an entrepreneur launching projects and teams transforming the ways we live, work and play. Simon combines systems thinking, business acumen and co-creative processes to generate innovative strategies and execute on opportunities at the nexus of future cities, digital transformation, and organizational and socio-ecological change. While living in China for 13 years, Simon launched Mercedes Benz’s digital innovation lab in Beijing, won the Reddot Product Design Award and Tech Crunch startup competition for creating ATMOBLUE, as well as pioneering several sustainable lifestyle projects in fashion, travel, and F&B. He speaks English, French, and Mandarin and is a yoga teacher and world traveler.

Nina Signard-Lombert

Impact Measurement at Percolab Coop

Having graduated from Trinity College Dublin in social business and political science, Nina is interested in the logical links that define organizations’’ internal processes. With a particular interest for well-being and mental health, she supports courageous systems to adapt their practices to take care of the humans inside them. She practices collaboration by experimenting with tools and challenging her colleagues and partners. The attention she gives to visuals supports processes and teams toward a common understanding. At Percolab, she works on measuring impact in the perspective of the socio-ecological transition.

David Daughton

PEI Co-operative Council, Healthy Community Partners Consulting, MYDAS Worker Co-operative

David Daughton has over forty years of experience in co-operative Community Economic Development. After helping to start peer support co-operatives at the University of York, U.K., David worked with natural food co-ops in England, Massachusetts, Quebec and Ontario and then joined the housing arm of Co-op Atlantic, eventually moving on to the Regional Co-operative Development Centre where he led the development of an Atlantic Region youth internship program. 

David has worked as the principal co-operative developer in Prince Edward Island and in New Brunswick, helping to form dozens of new co-operatives and assisting many existing co-operatives. As the elected President on the founding board of Canada’s “CoopZone Developers’ Network Co-op”, David championed the formation of the country’s first network of legal specialists in co-operative issues. He also contributed to curriculum development for CoopZone’s training program. 

David currently works with the Prince Edward Island Co-operative Council; his consulting business, “Healthy Community Partners”, focuses on personal and planetary health issues through a co-op lens. In 2000, David was the Recipient of the Quebec-Labrador Foundation’s “Caring for the Earth Award”, and in 2009 he was awarded the Canadian Worker Cooperative Federation’s “Worker Co-op Merit Award”. He and his family live by the water in Mermaid, Prince Edward Island.

Worker Co-ops 101 (EN)

Gabrielle Beaulieu

Organizational Development Consultant at Réseau COOP

M.Sc, BA in Communications

Gabrielle knows how to harness the collective intelligence of a group thanks to her collaborative and inclusive approach. She has over 25 years’ experience in the social sector, and has held a number of management roles, notably at national level. Gabrielle recently designed the Manuel d’exploration de l’autogestion (Self-Management Exploration Manual), in which she proposes a series of resources and tools aimed at improving group dynamics and enhancing collective capacities.

Juliet ‘Kego Ume- Onyido

CWCF Board, Black Women Professional Worker Co-op, Whole Woman Network

Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido is a Financial Advisor with one of the leading Financial Institutions in Canada. She is also a Social Justice Advocate, an International Speaker-Poet, and Master-Certified Leadership Coach-Trainer. 

A passionate advocate of financial resilience and economic opportunities for women and youth, she is an active proponent of the cooperative movement and the solidarity economy. Juliet is a co-founder of Whole Woman Network – a Leadership, Advocacy & Empowerment Social Enterprise for BIPOC Women and Youth, focused on holistic financial literacy/liberation education and building community wealth using an iterated, digital model of ROSCA+ (ROSCA plus) and African indigenous lens/values/frameworks. She is also one of the 10 co-founding members and president of Black Women Professional Worker Co-op (BWPW Co-op), – a women-led multi-stakeholder cooperative linking women of African descent in the agro-food chain and other professional sectors, from the global north and south, and supporting them to collaborate, start up, operationalize and scale up their operations into mainstream retail channels. 

As a feminist and poet, her works of poetry amplify the lived experiences of women and girls, and proceeds from her global poetry recitals and speaking engagements support the education and empowerment of vulnerable girls and women in under-served communities across Africa. 

 Juliet’s other areas of advocacy include ending Gender Based Violence, STEM, WASH, Menstrual Health access; Quality & Affordable Public School Education; Child Rights; Women in Leadership; Environmental Sustainability. Her educational background and professional experiences span multi-disciplinary fields: Engineering, International Business, Gender Studies, Wealth Management & Financial Advisory. She has an MBA from the University of Manchester, UK, and has worked and consulted for Honeywell Group, American Express, Emex Systems, MIS Systems, Edward Jones Investments, Sun Life Financial. She is a coach-strategist for several Governmental agencies and Corporate Leaders. She is on the advisory board of several organizations in USA, Canada, Nigeria, such as Global Rights, WAAW Foundation, EnvironFocus, Canadian Worker Co-op Federation, PARO Women’s Enterprise Centre, CASC, BOAT Lifebank Foundation

Back to the Fundamentals cont’d: focus on Justice, Equity, Diversity, Decolonization, and Inclusion (JEDDI) 

Mohammed Zaqout

LightWork Consulting Co-operative, CoDirector

Kinbrace, Project Coordinator

Mohammed (he/him) was born and raised in a refugee camp in Gaza – Palestine. He holds a degree with honors in Business Administration and Accounting.

Since moving to the unceded land of the Coast Salish peoples’, Mohammed has been advocating for refugee claimants’ housing, right to work, and find belonging through his work as the Achieving Financial Mobility Project Coordinator at Kinbrace. Most recently Mohammed has been leading a new pilot professional development program and ideas incubator – Transforming Employment Narratives (TEN): Inspired by Refugee Claimants and Employers.

With his BIPOC and refugee lived-experience, he continues seeking more justice and systems change. Mohammed is involved with Solid State Community Industries in addressing the economic immobilities of racialized migrant youth by achieving a solidarity economy and building cooperatives. Also he is a Community Advisor with the Vancouver Foundation, Youthful Cities, and RADIUS-SFU offering programming, engagement, and consultation.

Mohammed led a research in Palestine as Country Co-Investigator (CCI) on the Global Leadership & Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) with SFU. He is a Co Director of LightWork Consulting Cooperative.

Back to the Fundamentals cont’d: focus on Justice, Equity, Diversity, Decolonization, and Inclusion (JEDDI) 

Kelly Storie 

CWCF Board

Executive Director at La Siembra Co-op

Kelly has been a part of the cooperative and solidarity community for over 25 years and is the Executive Director of La Siembra Co-operative (Camino), a fair trade mission-driven workers cooperative dedicated to small-farmer livelihoods and economic democracy. 

In her career, Kelly has supported the growth and governance of several national and international co-operative and fair trade organizations including serving on the board of the Ontario Co-operative Association, Your Credit Union, La Siembra, Fairtrade Canada and one the largest worker co-ops in the United States, Equal Exchange.

Kelly believes that the worker co-op model has been key to keeping La Siembra and the Camino brand connected to their fair trade mission and independent for over 20 years. The worker owners care deeply about the business, its reputation, its service and the quality of the products. The democratic governance and control of the co-op will pass from member to member, rather than fall into the hands of private equity. Giving workers more power, control and accountability over their work is meaningful and dignified. This is a real strength of the model. 

Kelly Storie was acclaimed as a director-at-large for CWCF at its AGM in November, 2021.