2018 has generally been a good year for the sum of cooperatives that make up MONDRAGON. There has been a rise in invoicing over the preceding year, jobs have been created, and a fresh boost has been given to business sustainability. Special mention should be made of the industrial sector, which has created 8,000 jobs over the past five years, of which 57% (4,589) were within our own catchment area.

The 2018 Congress approved the policy document  “Distribución de Resultados para el Reforzamiento de Recursos propios” [Distribution of Earnings for Reinforcing Equity], with the main aim being to reinforce the cooperatives’ equity to ensure the future sustainability of their businesses.

Bilbao hosted the Global Social Economy Forum on 1, 2 and 3 October. The event held at the Euskalduna Conference Hall was attended by 1,700 delegates from more than 80 countries, and was sponsored by MONDRAGON and LABORAL Kutxa.

In May, the theatre Amaia Antzokia premiered the screening of “Arizmendiarrieta, el hombre cooperativo” [Arizmendiarrieta, the cooperative man], a film directed by Gaizka Urresti, from Bilbao, on the founder of the Cooperative Experience. Following its first showing in Mondragón-Arrasate, it was shown in cinemas up and down the country.

Two visits. The first was made by Joseph Stiglitz, a US professor and economist and winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics. This is his second visit to MONDRAGON, and he joked about “revealing the success of the cooperative model, which many people talk about”, highlighting it as a benchmark to be followed.

The second, at the end of November, involved Xi Jinping, the President of the People’s Republic of China, on a visit to Spain, with the president of MONDRAGON being invited to attend.