As Director of Strategy of the International Co-operative Alliance, Hanan El-Youssef ensures that the Alliance achieves its initiatives to further the Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade. She has prior experience in Belgium, Lebanon, Syria, and the United States – in co-operatives, field and advocacy work in international development, and association management. Hanan earned a double BA in Comparative Literature and Spanish from Bryn Mawr College (USA) and a MSc in Economic Development from the University of Pavia (Italy). She speaks English, French, Spanish, and Arabic.

Hanan will introduce the Alliance and its role as the voice of the global co-operative movement. As the Alliance works to represent and serve the interests of co-operatives in all sectors and industries of the economy all around the world, it strives to stay abreast of the major challenges and opportunities for this economic model. Technological innovations can present both disruptions and major opportunities for co-ops to evolve into new territories with their people-centered business model. Platform enterprises are an increasingly dominant model for “Fortune 500” companies.

The co-operative business model has much to offer when it comes to access, management, use, and ownership of data. More broadly, the Alliance is exploring the role of co-ops in leading innovation with four principle queries: 1) What is this so-called sharing economy and why should co-operatives care? 2) Why might co-operatives explore platform cooperativism? 3) Should they? 4) How do we ensure that innovation does not become a pursuit in itself?