Yes, it’s in Manchester and no, it’s not a football (soccer) team. Still, you can’t help having a sneaking suspicion that the prowess and popularity of Manchester United may have something to do with the naming of this event.
To call it a “conference” probably wouldn’t do it justice – it’s a great deal more than that. Its website refers to it as a World Festival, which might be a little closer to what is awaiting us in Manchester.
Whatever you call it, Co-operatives United will bring as many as 10,000 co-operators from across the UK and around the world to a city which figures prominently in the history of the global co-operative movement. Robert Owen, who is considered one of the movement’s founding fathers, came to Manchester from Wales in 1787 and remained there for 12 years, working in the textile industry and participating in the prestigious Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society.
And it’s no coincidence that Manchester is just a stone’s throw (13 km to be exact) from Rochdale, home of one of the world’s first co-operatives and birthplace of the Co-operative Principles.
So we can’t think of a better location for the global co-operative movement’s culminating event of the International Year of Co-operatives. Here are some of the things that will be taking place at between October 29 and November 2:
- ICA Expo 2012, which will showcase co-ops and their products and services from around the world.
- A co-operative “street gallery“, charting the formation and reach of the global co-op movement.
- Screenings of films on co-ops, including the premiere of the new feature film The Rochdale Pioneers.
- A special session of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) General Assembly, including a discussion and decision on ICA’s Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade.
- A Co-operative Congress, with presentations and discussions on “Growing the co-operative economy”.
- A co-operative Gender Forum, to discuss the participation of women in the co-operative movement.
- A co-op practitioners’ forum, which will include a plenary session and separate forums on accountancy, corporate administration, human resources and communications.
- A conference on co-operatives and Fair Trade.
- The re-launch of the Rochdale Pioneers Museum, as well as ongoing tours to Rochdale, The Co-operative Group’s new headquarters and local co-ops.
Follow Tanya Gracie and me on this blog as we chronicle our latest adventure in co-operation. On to Manchester!
– Donna Balkan
In this article
- British co-operative movement
- Business models
- Consumer cooperative
- Greater Manchester
- International Co-operative Alliance
- Person Location
- Person Travel
- Rochdale Principles
- Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers
- Social Issues
- The Co-operative brand
- The Co-operative Group