Speakers announced for Co-op Education Conference

The TUC's Kevin Rowan and the ICA's Bruno Roelants and Ariel Guarco will be speaking at the event in May

International co-operators and trade union heavyweights will be speaking at the 2018 Co-operative Education Conference, the Co-operative College has announced.

Bruno Roelants, the new director general of the International Co-operative Alliance and Ariel Guarco, the Alliance’s president, have both been confirmed for the event, which is taking place at Federation House in Manchester on 1-2 May 2018.

Mr Guarco, president of Argentinian co-op federation Cooperar, was elected as president last year, while Mr Roelants joined the organisation from industrial and service co-op organisations CICOPA and CECOP-CICOPA in February.

Related: Meet… Bruno Roelants, incoming director general of the International Co-operative Alliance

Kevin Rowan, TUC

Also confirmed is Kevin Rowan, head of the organisation and services department at the TUC. Mr Rowan leads on issues including public services, trade union renewal, health and wellbeing, learning, skills and trade union education, regional policy and devolution and plays a key role in the TUC’s broader campaign work.

The conference, titled ‘Skills for Co-operators in the 21st Century – Learning to do, learning to be’ will explore what learning looks like in contemporary times, and will have two main strands: The Co-operative University and learning for new co-operative times.

The programme covers many aspects of international co-operation, as well as current work in the social and solidarity economy and technology for co-operative knowledge production, and will feature presenters from across the globe including India, the Czech Republic, Spain, Italy and Rwanda.

“The Co-operative Education Conference is an opportunity to discuss new ideas around not just co-operative education, but co-op policy and the co-op world,” said Dr Cilla Ross, College vice-prinicpal, in a Q&A with Co-operative News.

“Yes it’s for people associated with co-ops, but we need to push the boundaries of what that means. This conference is for those in education, those in the traditional movement or emerging co-ops and anyone with a general interest in co-operation and the social solidarity economy. We’re thinking about the big ideas.

“As we approach our centenary year in 2019, the College is looking wider. We’re looking to create great teaching, learning and research – but what does this mean and who is this for? The conference will be unafraid of asking this.”

  • For more information about the conference, including the full programme and ticketing information, click here.
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