As part of the College’s aim to develop new and exciting educational opportunities, we have been piloting a series of ‘Twilight Sessions’ to offer bite-sized and flexible learning experiences in the tradition of evening classes, but with a twist.

These sessions are designed to be informal and accessible, not traditional classroom style learning where the teacher speaks and the students listen impassively. We fully believe in co-learning and participation and invite participants to come along and take a fully-interactive part in the discussion. We want people to leave the sessions feeling like they’ve had an engaged and lively debate full of rich content and thought-provoking questions.

Each session aims to tackle topical and current issues through the lens of co-operation and co-operatives, covering a wide range of topics that the College is involved with. The first of the sessions kicked off on the subject of co-operative responses to poverty across the world, informed by the College’s extensive experience of both international co-operative development work and their work closer to home. We discussed whether people think that the solutions to poverty in the global south are replicable in our local communities and how this could be brought about.

The second session was an examination of the role of education and learning in the twentieth century co-operative movement, and whether the purpose was still to fulfil the historical aim of how to run an effective co-op and to be a good co-operator. This week the session will be looking into the important role that co-ops play in the Social and Solidarity Economy, and how we can ensure that co-ops are at the forefront of economic, social and political change. 

We’ve got more sessions running over the next few weeks, with tickets starting from just £5! October 26th sees the future of work take centre stage, where we’ll be asking whether co-operatives can offer new ways of organising and thinking about the future of work.

This will be followed on November 2nd by a session on reclaiming Rochdale, looking at how co-ops can empower young people to take an active part in their communities and change them for the better. It will take place at the Pioneers Museum, with last minute tickets available here.

The final session will argue that youth isn’t wasted on the young. We’ll be looking at youth movements such as the Woodcraft Folk and how co-ops can help support and empower young people. You can read more about this here

We will be running more Twilight sessions again in 2018, all set to reflect current affairs and the important topics of the day!