Researchers, academics and practitioners meet at One Angel Square in Manchester on 4 April to explore the hidden potential of co-operatives.
Themed Unlocking Co-ops: Revealing the Hidden Potential, the conference is jointly organised by the Co-operative College and the UK Society for Co-operative Studies.
Attendees will take part in interactive sessions to share their current research and discuss the strengths, possibilities and barriers to co-operative and social solidarity alternatives. Those interested in starting a research project will be encouraged to pitch their ideas – and explore what the future research needs of the movement and a Co-operative University might be.
Dr Cilla Ross, vice principal of the Co-operative College, said: “Research has never been more important to the co-operative and social solidarity movement as we look at how values based alternative models of social and economic organisation are gaining ground in people’s imaginations.
“From the scourge of zero-hour employment to the collapse of our social care, transport and higher education systems, research suggests that co-operatives can offer alternatives to the way we run our world. However, it’s vital that we explore such ideas critically and gather the evidence. Robust research helps us to answer the questions: what works and what doesn’t? That way, we can seek to establish the value of the co-operative difference.”
Ian Adderley, chair of the UK Society for Co-operative Studies, said: “This event is a great opportunity to bring together those involved in co-operative research and action. Sharing ideas, discussing research needs, exploring barriers to co-operative alternatives, this event is ideal for current and future researches, as well as those with an interest in this area.”
More information about the conference and how to register is available on the College’s website.