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The Cooperative Leaders and Scholars (CLS) program is an opportunity for employees, board members, and post-secondary students working for cooperatives and others interested in working for a cooperative or cooperative organization to participate in multi-sector programming and events and engage with co-op industry thought leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders.

CLS offers the opportunity to learn more about the cooperative model, engage with cooperators and experts from all sectors, and participate in and share knowledge with a community of cooperative leaders and scholars.

Contact Kirstie Boyette at kboyette@ncba.coop for more information.

"Being a part of the CLS cohort has broadened my understanding of the international history of cooperatives and helped me to make connections with likeminded individuals who are doing amazing work promoting democracy, equity and workers' rights today. I have left wanting to continue to grow the connections I made, and make promoting cooperatives the mission of my work."

- Isa Fernández, 2022 Cohort Member

Emerging cooperators (ages 18-35) pursuing a career in or working with cooperatives, credit unions, and mutual insurance.

Individuals new to cooperatives, credit unions, and mutual insurance with less than 5 years of experience

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Eligibility
  • Emerging cooperators (ages 18 - 35) pursuing a career in or working with cooperatives, credit unions, and mutual insurance

  • Individuals new to cooperatives, credit unions, and mutual insurance with less than 5 years of experience

  • Post secondary students of any age with an interest in cooperatives, credit unions, and mutual insurance 

Applicants must qualify under one of the three categories and reside in North America. 

Timeline
  • December 9 - Application portal opens

  • February 10 - Applications due by 11:59 pm ET

  • March 1 - Applicants notified of status

  • April 5 - Program kick-off (virtual)

  • May 22 - 25 - Multi-day in-person meeting in St. Paul, MN

  • June - September - Virtual programming

  • October 2 - 6 - Weeklong in-person convening in Washington, DC

  • November - Virtual programming

Program Content
  • Engage in an 8 month program designed to deepen and broaden knowledge of cooperatives and the role of the cooperative model in meeting the economic and social needs of communities

  • Be a part of a community that can provide ongoing peer support and professional development opportunities

  • Co-create a capstone project that will be presented at the Co-op IMPACT Conference

  • Participate in exclusive networking events

  • Learn from industry experts in a series of webinars

  • Get to know the cohort in-person in St. Paul, MN from May 22 - 25 that will include co-op tours, capstone project planning, and art of facilitation training

  • Attend a weeklong event in Washington, DC from October 2 - 6 featuring NCBA CLUSA's Co-op IMPACT Conference, CDF's Cooperative Hall of Fame, and a one-day course from the International Centre for Co-operative Management at Saint Mary's University

Benefits
  • Registration for the Co-op IMPACT Conference, Cooperative Hall of Fame, and International Centre for Co-operative Management at Saint Mary's University course

  • Access to exclusive networking events

  • Webinars from industry experts

  • Peer-to-Peer and Mentor-to-Mentee opportunities

  • Hotel accommodations for October weeklong convening in Washington, DC

  • Hotel accommodations for May multi-day meeting in St. Paul, MN

  • Up to $1,000 in reimbursement for travel costs for May and October events (up to $500 per in-person event)

  • 18 meals for in-person events (part of the program, not reimbursable)

  • $25 metro card for Washington, DC

  • $600  honorarium

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Testimonials from Alumni

"I was most surprised by the caliber of people I met during this program. It was incredible to meet and learn from people across all skill levels, co-op sectors, and areas of the world."

"I built essential relationships with key stakeholders and learned about best practices and innovations in the cooperative field. The program helped me learn about the nuances and flexibility of the cooperative model."

"It was the most inspiring week with the most awesome co-operators. So much to learn from each other and learn together from the best co-op practitioners."

"This was an incredibly rewarding experience and in addition to gaining an in depth understanding of the cooperative movement, I gained a whole network of individuals who are knowledgeable and available to assist me in projects moving forward."

Thank You Sponsors!

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