Mainstreaming Co-operation conference
Co-operators from all corners of the globe will be welcomed to Manchester and Rochdale in July for a three-day conference which will explore how co-operatives in every sphere of life can emerge globally as a mainstreaming alternative for the 21st century.
In celebration of the United Nations’ International Year of Co-operatives, this major international forum will examine co‑operatives as a participatory, democratic alternative to prevailing orthodoxies of competitive international capitalism driven solely by the maximisation of private profit. The conference will explore the major contributions that a renewed vision and practice of co-operative forms of organisation can make to people across the world.
The cross-disciplinary conference has been organised by the Co-operative College and sponsored by the Co-operative Group as well as a team of researchers from Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool University, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Central Lancashire, Edge Hill University and the University of the Basque Country. The conference builds on the success of a 2009 event, also held in New Century House, which led to the recent book The Hidden Alternative: co-operative values past, present and future, published by Manchester University Press.
Tony Webster, chair of the organising committee and Head of History, Liverpool John Moores University, said: “Over the course of the three days in Manchester and Rochdale, we’ll hear from co-operators and academics speaking on a number of topics, from education, history and politics to poverty reduction and economic development, as well as innovations and governance models for co-operatives, both present and future. The conference is aimed at active co-operators, researchers, and anyone interested in the diverse issues we plan to address.
“The international year is a wonderful opportunity to bring co-operation into the mainstream of public awareness, business practice, and intellectual scrutiny. We’re delighted to engage with co-operators and scholars from across the UK and around the globe, with more than sixty speakers representing seventeen different countries. The programme covers a broad range of interests and highlights the variety of co-operative traditions and practices that exist all over the world.”
Speakers at the conference will include Paul Hazen, Executive Director of the US Overseas Development Council, Professor Ian Macpherson, scholar of Canadian and international co-operation, Bruno Roelants and Claudia Sanchez Bajo, authors of Capital and the Debt Trap: Learning from Co-operatives in the Global Crisis and Professor Stephen Yeo, social historian of British co-operation and Chair of the Co-operative Heritage Trust.
Rachael Vorberg-Rugh, organising committee member and researcher, University of Liverpool Management School, added: “In addition to conference events in Manchester, one of the highlights of the three days will be a visit to Rochdale, where participants can visit the revitalised Rochdale Pioneers Museum. On Thursday evening at the Rochdale Town Hall, we’ll have the opportunity to celebrate two of the great global traditions of co-operation. We’re very pleased that our colleagues from DGRV will join us in hosting a reception honouring Germany’s Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen, a pioneer of rural credit unions whose model has inspired co-operators around the world. Then, at the conference dinner, we’ll hear from noted historian Professor John Walton, who will discuss the lives and impact of the Rochdale Pioneers.”
The conference takes place at New Century Hall, Manchester and Rochdale Pioneers Museum, Rochdale from 3-5 July.
The conference will cost £150 for the full three days (including conference dinner and transport to and from Rochdale), £135 for the Conference without the dinner and £70 for one day. A limited number of bursaries (up to half the conference fee) are available for postgraduates.
For full details of the programme and booking details, visit www.co-op.ac.uk/mainstreaming-co-operation.
Published On: May 27, 2012
Written By: Natalie