The final day of our Centenary Conference will see us focus on the future, with workshops exploring how we can build a co-operative economy, the progress made on bringing a Co-operative University to life, and the unique relationship between co-ops and unions.

With keynote addresses from Dr Ariel Guarco, President of the International Co-operative Alliance, plus the unveiling of our new five year strategy, this is a finale you won't want to miss!

And Now The Future

09:00 Registration and Refreshments + Aroundtheworld.coop Film Screening

10:00 Welcome and Launch of The Co-operative College Strategy: Nigel Todd, Chair of Trustees, The Co-operative College, Dr Cilla Ross, Vice Principal, The Co-operative College

10:20 Keynote Nine: Ariel Guarco - President, International Co-operative Alliance


10:45 Workshops

Your chance to choose one of the workshops outlined below.

Workshop 12: Co-ops and the Sustainable Development Goals in Focus (Dr Amanda Benson, Projects and Research Officer, The Co-operative College)

Co-ops have the potential to address many of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but there are some key goals that co-ops are particularly well placed to address.  This session will introduce the SDGs using a range of 'hands on' activities that demonstrate how co-ops can act as positive agents of change to achieve them.

Workshop 13: Union Co-ops - A Manifesto for Decent Work (Alex Bird and Dr Anita Mangan)

How can co-ops and unions work together to secure decent work for all? Alex Bird and Dr Anita Mangan will discuss this and more as part of their interactive workshop session.

Workshop 14: The New Economy is Alive and Growing in the Cracks of the Old (Jo Taylor & Colm Massey - Solidarity Economy Association)

Co-operatives put control of businesses, homes and organisations into the control of their workers, residents, and other stakeholders: a powerful way to put decision making into the hands of those most effected, helping to carve out some breathing space in the neo-liberal capitalist system. The solidarity economy, meanwhile, is a vision of another system. This economy is not something new, it predates capitalism by thousands of years, but has been stifled and is not always easily visible. Despite this, the most marginalised parts of our society still depend on the solidarity economy – from food banks, people’s kitchens and community allotments to free shops, base unions, and community-led campaigns.

What would it take to grow a solidarity economy capable of transforming our current system in Britain? The Solidarity Economy Association believe the answer lies in internationalist solidarity and grass-roots education.

Workshop 15: Re-Imagining Rochdale (Kaija-Luisa Kurik, Heritage Action Zone Project Officer, Rochdale Development Agency | Neil Eccles, Business Development Manager, Rochdale Development Agency

Neil Eccles and Kaija-Luisa Kurik from Rochdale Development Agency will chair a session exploring the pioneering ideas that are shaping the future regeneration of Rochdale. Drawn from the town’s remarkable heritage, find out how placemaking and regeneration activities are defining the next chapter of Rochdale’s story and discuss how co-operation and co-operatives can influence the future vision.


11:40 Refreshments

11:55 Plenary: Education for a Better World: Ideas, Plans and Proposals

Panel: Simon Parkinson - Chief Executive and Principal, The Co-operative College (Chair) | Baroness Glenys Thornton, Shadow Lords Health Minister | Donna Dizon, VP - Administration and Corporate Planing Executive Director, CLIMBS Life and General Insurance Co-operative, Philippines | Jim McMahon, Labour and Co-operative Party Candidate for Oldham West and Royton| Dr Mallika Kumar, Co-ordinator, International Programmes, Shri Ram College of Commerce, IndiaJulie Ward, MEP, Vice President of the Culture and Education committee at the European Parliament

The world is increasingly divided at the local, national and international level.

The rise of populism and the associated questions around identity and our relationships with others, at a community, regional, national and international level presents the risk of increased isolation and self-protection.

Paradoxically the big issues we face - climate change, food poverty, the changing nature of work, both in terms of automation and working practices, a rise in violent crime and an ageing population, with the associated health and wellbeing concerns, all require co-operative approaches if they are to be tackled effectively.

Can a renewed focus on community based, co-operative education and learning help address the problems we face?

Are there examples of co-operative approaches, which from around the world, which have brought different groups together and helped communities to help themselves?

What are the necessary political and policy responses needed to re-connect our communities at the local, regional, national and international level? 

Our Panel will discuss this and offer views on potential ways forward before opening the session up into a Q&A with contributions from delegates.

13:20 Official Close

13:30 Lunch

14:00 Fringe Meetings including UK Society for Co-operative Studies AGM 


Like the look of day three? Then take a look at day one and day two as well!

There are also still a limited number of £100 tickets remaining which give access to all three days of our Centenary Conference plus our Gala Dinner! See more information over in our ticketing area

Ticketing Area