On May 7, 2007, Erik Hagberg, President and CEO of PAC International had the privilege of speaking at the 15th Annual Conference on Sustainable Development at the United Nations. As a keynote speaker, Erik presented the innovative business model of the company - "Corporate Cooperative" - strategically designed to achieve the goals and objectives of a high level corporation while economically empowering the native resident employees.
PAC’s plan is to develop and deploy cooperative business enterprises in SIDS and developing countries that are owned and controlled democratically by its employees. PAC is committed to the rules of governance as outlined in its cooperative corporate charter. These include a commitment to socially responsible and ethical work issues. As part of this commitment the company provides employee stock ownership programs.These international corporate cooperatives are autonomous associations of people united under employment to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise. These cooperatives are enterprises that put people at the center of their business and not capital – going beyond the traditional capitalistic business model of exploitation and monopoly of earth’s natural resources. The company’s international cooperatives are business enterprises and thus can be defined in terms of three basic interests: ownership, control, and beneficiary. Only in the co-operative enterprise are all three interests are vested directly in the hands of its employees.
Furthermore, these international corporate cooperatives are based on the values of self-government, self-determination, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. As corporate cooperatives, these international operations will work for the sustainable development of their communities, environment, and culture through policies accepted and agreed upon by its member employees.
Ms. Diane Quarless, Chief of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Unit of UN/DESA/DSD, opened the discussion by explaining the objectives of the session, which aimed to introduce an array of new technologies to promote development in SIDS and other countries. She added that this partnership was the epitome of bringing together scientists, with the volunteerism of NGOs, the drive of the private sector and the support of the UN and donor community.
Ambassador Angus Friday of the Mission of Grenada to the United Nations, Chairman of the Association of Small Island States (AOSIS) welcomed the participants and said he was encouraged by the levels of interest in working with SIDS. He emphasized the increasing pressures for quick action for development in SIDS and said that partnerships are the key to achieving results. (excerpts from "UN Partnerships for Sustainable Development, Identifying New Technologies for Sustainable Development in Small Island Developing States, Partnership Wire, May 9, 2007)
Following the PAC solution presented by Erik, Dr. Tom Goreau, President of Global Coral Reef Alliance and one of the leading scientific advisors on PAC's Advisory Board, gave his presentation on his remarkable work of coral reef restoration. He introduced his work by describing his non-profit work primarily on coral reef restoration. He explained that around the world today there is more dead coral than live coral, largely due to the slight increase in water temperatures which is already occurring, but also due to water pollution from sewage and other sources. He has developed a technology, which he calls Biorock, which has proven highly effective in regenerating coral reefs. The video presentation provides a good visual rendition of this remarkable technology.