Starting the debate

Have a passion for co-operatives and the future of our movement? Join us: Saturday 28 June in Birmingham

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You can’t help but notice there has been dramatic change within the co-operative movement over the past year. And with big opportunities and challenges ahead, we must now come together to have real, open and honest conversations about the future.

For over 140 years the co-operative movement has come together at Congress to debate today’s critical issues. ‘Co-operation: How?’ this year’s Co-operative Congress, sponsored by Unity Trust Bank, is a must attend event for anyone with a passion for, or involved in the co-operative sector. The event is organised by Co-operatives UK, and the event’s media partner is Co-operative News.

In the run up to Congress, we want to hear what you have to say; we want your ideas on where next for the UK co-operative movement. There are two themes up for discussion in advance. The buzz and debate online and across social networks will help us to shape the event itself.

The themes, drawn from the International Co-operative Alliance ‘Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade’ are:

  • How do we repackage the co-operative message and secure the co-operative identity?

  • How do we take participation in membership and governance to the next level?

To kick off the conversation, Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK has written a discussion piece for each theme. Feel free to comment and get involved. We’ll be looking for participants to kick off conversations on the day, so don’t forget to use the #coophow in your online interactions.

Debate #1: How do we take participation in membership and governance to the next level?

participation
To begin the debate, Ed Mayo argues that, alongside formal democratic models, co-operatives need to embrace new models of participation. Rapid feedback, peer-to-peer dialogue, consensus decision-making, transparency and open data: co-operatives need to create space for more liquid models of democracy. What do you think? Join in the debate on co-operative participation ...

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Debate #2: How do we repackage the co-operative message and secure the co-operative identity?

identity
Starting the debate on repackaging co-operative identity, Ed Mayo argues that we need to make our difference our strength. He asks if we can reinvigorate our membership model, spread the workplace innovations of worker co-ops and make our members, consumers, employees and suppliers our marketing teams. Agree? Tell us what you think. Join in the debate ...

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