Co-operators will meet in Manchester in January for the Ways Forward 3 conference, a discussion of the future of the movement.
The event, on 23 January, follows two previous events organised by Co-operative Business Consultants (CBC), which was set up to discuss the Co-operative Group’s challenges. It will focus on learning from co-operative success stories around the world and how to move on using lessons from the Group’s crisis.
“The Ways Forward conferences provide unique opportunities for the co-operative movement to openly discuss our current challenges and opportunities together,” said Jo Bird of CBC.
“Our January 2014 Ways Forward conference acted as a rallying point for co-operators to speak out in defence of co-operation and the direction of the Bank and Group. Ways Forward 2 pulled together a pro-democracy lobby to influence changes within the Group.
“Ways Forward 3 will focus on co-operative development, given the very different environment in which we enter 2015. We will be learning directly from co-operative success stories around the world, through live internet link-ups. We will progress a co-operative development fund and framework. There will also be opportunities to organise around the new structures within the Co-operative Group.”
Panelists will also examine how to progress a co-operative development fund and framework. Keynote speakers include Iain MacDonald, former director general of the International Co-operative Alliance; David Thompson, Twin Pines Foundation, USA; and Ali McLarnon of Belfast Cleaning Co-op.
• Tickets for the conference cost £45 and can be reserved online. A number of free places for co-operators from outside the UK and volunteers under 24 are also available. The conference will take place at FC United’s new £6m stadium, which was build with community shares invested by over 3,000 co-owners. Delegates can also attend a pre-conference dinner on Thursday, 22 January.