Session descriptions

Read on for more information on the sessions taking place at Practitioners Forum 2020. 

10-10.45am – Co-ops so white! Representing our diverse communities
Lucy Caldicott and Jaz Nannar, ChangeOut

Black Lives Matter, #MeToo and other movements for equality have all hit the headlines in recent times – and made a massive impact on social media. Co‑operatives pride themselves on being open and democratic. So why isn't the co‑op movement representative of the UK population? How can we create opportunities for under-represented groups and for more diverse, positive role models?

Lucy Caldicott and Jaz Nannar of ChangeOut have been working with Co‑operatives UK alongside Locality, Plunkett Foundation and Power to Change on an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion review and plan. In this session, they will share some of their findings from this work and thoughts on how co‑ops can make equity – one of the co-operative movement’s core values – live within their organisations. Lucy and Jaz will explore and build a shared understanding of what is meant by 'power’ and ‘privilege' in the workplace. They will also explore why and how these issues might affect some colleagues more or differently than others – and why that's problematic for all of us. You'll come away with increased understanding of some complex topics, as well as a range of top tips.

11-11.45am – Employment law update (part one)
12-12.45pm – Employment law update (part two) 
Emma Bagshaw, Seabury Legal

This year hasn't been what we expected – and continues to bring new challenges in the world of work. Even in these exceptional times, employment law continues to evolve. These two sessions will take you through some of the latest employment law changes and look ahead to the government’s plans for 2021. They'll cover Brexit; the continued implementation of the government’s Good Work Plan; holidays; employee status; COVID-19’s impact on employment law and more.

11-11.45am Saving our high streets
Alice Wharton, Co-operatives UK and Susan Stuart, Jubilee Pool Penzance

An exploration of the opportunities and challenges for community buy-out of the high street through community shares funding. Community shares enable community ownership of businesses, which is a practical way to support the community wealth building agenda. Now it's time for local authorities and established co-operative businesses to better understand how to bolster the development of community-owned co-operative businesses that could save our high streets.

11-11.45am – Risk and resilience planning
Angela Lomax, David Tolson Partnership and Emma Laycock, Co‑operatives UK

If you sit on a board of directors, or work with a board and want to make your co-op more resilient through effective risk management – this is the session for you. The Governance Panel will provide guidance on how to build a risk and resilience framework your board can take ownership of your co‑op's risk and control environment. 

12-12.45pm – KPMG tax update
Ellen Feetum and Paul Casey, KPMG
Keep abreast of the latest tax developments with KPMG’s experts. Ellen and Paul will provide a technical update on emerging developments, including recent tax changes and the increasing role of technology in tax. They'll also deliver an analysis of the chancellor’s autumn budget, if it takes place before the event.

12-12.45pm – Harnessing the power of members
Speakers to be confirmed

Are your members a bane or bonus? With increasing pressures due to the COVID-19 crisis, this session will explore approaches to mobilsing people power to support your social and commercial impact. With examples from within the co-op sector and externally, learn how you can turn your members into a greater asset.

1.30-2.15pm Coaching for performance (part one)
2.30-3.15pm – Coaching for performance (part two)
Jenny Holsgrove, Co-operatives UK

Discover your ability to coach! This two-part workshop will explore the impact that coaching can have your co-op by empowering your members to learn, develop, unlock their potential and maximise their performance.

The first of these two sessions will provide an overview to help you discover how you can apply coaching tools and techniques with your team. We'll look at how mindset, attitude and belief all pay a critical part in your journey as a coach. Together, we'll build on our knowledge of open and closed questions and explore different tools and tips to start you on your coaching journey.

Our second session will be all about trying out your learning. In groups, we'll explore how different styles of coaching can impact the coachee and how they can work in different ways to unlock potential. If you're keen to develop your communication skills – and your people, these sessions are for you!

1.30-2.15pm – Getting board scrutiny right – the secret ingredients
Jacqui McKinlay, Centre for Governance and Scruitiny (CfGS)

Effective board scrutiny is important for your co-op's success. In this session, you'll hear more about the benefits good scrutiny can bring – and the key ingredients to getting it right. Jacqui will discuss the importance of board buy‑in; how to get member voices heard; cultural components and the ways to structure scrutiny. She'll also be offering plenty of practical advice and tips.

1.30-2.15pm – Learning from the COVID response
Karen Creavin, The Active Wellbeing Society; Rebecca Birkbeck, The Co-op Group and Petra Morris, Friends of Stretford Public Hall

Co-ops are resilient. They build on established partnerships and strong supply chains. Many have quickly adapted and responded during COVID-19 to continue benefiting their customers, members and communities. We'll hear from some of these co-ops in this session. We'll also explore how this resilience and responsiveness can be best sustained – and how it can change future business models and strategies. 

2.30-3.15pm – Using customer insights to reimagine your co-op 
Danny Hearn, Dot Project

2020 has seen a growth in the use of digital tools to reach customers and communities. To sustain and enhance services that integrate digital, it's crucial to understand the evolving needs of your customers – and to align your co-op's objectives to your digital approach. Using a recent experience with Co‑operatives UK as a case study, Danny Hearn explains how developing your online services can build important knowledge and insight that can contribute to fundamental changes within your teams and organisation.

2.30-3.15pmManaging conduct issues
David Alcock, Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP

A practical session looking at how to deal with allegations of misconduct by members or directors. The session will consider what your constitution should provide for, issues around process, and how to manage the impact of situations of this kind. The session will be based on examples and real life case studies drawn from a range of co-ops, community organisations and charities, taken from the experience that presenters have in working directly with organisations dealing with these issues.

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Practitioners Forum 2020 is proudly sponsored by: