Congress 2018: What's happening

Co-op Congress 2018 – Time to be inspired... time to Think Different

Join us for an exhilarating, thought-provoking day at this year's Co-op Congress, where you’ll discover innovative new ideas, practice and technologies to take the co‑operative movement from strength to strength. There'll be inspirational speakers, panel discussions and workshops on a range of pertinent topics, as well as practical 'how to' workshops from the Hive covering a range of co-op essentials. We'll also be hosting the Co-op of the Year Awards and an exciting crowd funding session where the platform co‑ops from our UnFound accelerator programme will be pitching for financial support for digital innovations. It's your chance to be inspired and 'think different'. Here's the programme:


AM SESSIONS Main Room Talks and Sessions Workshop Sessions

•  Welcome from Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co‑operatives UK
•  Presentation of THE CO-OP OF THE YEAR AWARDS, sponsored by the Co-operative Councils’ Innovation Network


Practical policies to grow the co-op economy 
What policies should be put forward to government to increase number and scale of co‑ops in the UK?

Chaired by Ed Mayo, Secretary General, Co‑operatives UK                                        
• Diana Dovgan, Secretary General, CECOP – CICOPA Europe 
• Jake Sumner, Associate, ResPublica
• Andrew Pendleton, Principal Director – Policy and Advocacy, New Economics Foundation (NEF)

• Measuring the social impact of co‑operatives, Sonja Novkovic, St Mary's University, Canada

• Collaborative Advantage: How collaboration beats competition as a strategy for success, Paul Skinner 

• From the Hive: Essential governance – how to make your new co‑op work, Mark Simmonds

12.00 -13.00 

The role of co-ops in developing prosperous local communities
How can co‑operatives help create and develop resilient community‑based local economies? 

Chaired by Neil McInroy, Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES)
Councillor Matthew Brown, Preston City Council
​• Rebecca Birkbeck, The Co-op 
Mark Sesnan, Greenwich Leisure Limited     

Platform co‑operatives in practice, Simon Borkin, Co‑operatives UK

Co-operative solutions for freelancers and contractors, Graham Webber and Pat Conaty

 From the Hive: Essential marketing for co‑ops – a lightning tour, Siôn Whellens


PM SESSIONS  Main Room Talks and Sessions                                                                                                                                             Workshop Sessions

Co‑operative approaches to the housing problem
The housing market in the UK is broken. Can co‑operatives help to fix it? 

Chaired by Sian Herschel, Head of Places & Sectors, Power to Change
• Scott Jennings, Student Co‑op Homes
• Blase Lambert, CEO, Confederation of Co‑operative Housing (CCH)            

Co‑operative board behaviours, Angela Lomax

• How to not get ripped off when purchasing technology services, Harry Robbins

• From the Hive: Essential finance – community sharesDave Boyle


Raising finance the co‑operative way
How can co-ops make sure they have the capital they need?

Chaired by John Brodie, CEO, Scotmid Co-operative 
David Alcock, Partner, Anthony Collins Solicitors
​• Sonja Novkovic, Professor of Economics, Saint Mary's University, Canada​
Helen Seymour, Chair, Headlingly Development Trust 

• Meaningful engagement: the role of co‑ops in place based work, Jess Thomas                                              

From the Hive: Essential HR – the basics of employing people, Gary Morrison

• Local Democracy in Action, Cllr Sharon Taylor, Co-operative Councils Innovation Network (Chair)


Closing address from Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co‑operatives UK

16.30-17.40 Unfound accelerator programme LIVE crowdfunding session
Teams from the 8 platform co‑ops on our UnFound accelerator programme will pitch for financial support to develop digital initiatives. 

This year's Co‑op Congress takes place on Saturday 23 June from 10am to 5.30pm at etc. venues 155 Bishopsgate, London.