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National Youth Summit

National Youth Summit, 11 July

Are you a young person looking to join a movement that empowers people and communities, giving a voice to all? The National Youth Summit is the event for you…

Join hundreds of young people on Monday 11 July at The Studio in Manchester to explore radical solutions to the big topics of the day – and discover how we can create a fairer future.

The National Youth Summit is a FREE event bringing together leaders, change-makers and creators to empower young people through the principles of co‑operation. From job security to mental health and co‑operative and ethical working, discover how co‑ops can enable the young people of today to become the leaders of tomorrow. 

Inspirational speakers

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester and Ben Procter, Chair of the Scottish Co‑op Party, are among the speakers who will explore empowering co‑operative solutions to some of society’s greatest challenges.

Tackling big issues

  • Social issues: Mental health, job security and culture will be addressed as we consider how to provide solutions for the greatest concerns of our youth. 
  • The environment: What can the fashion industry teach us about our ethics and values? What can we do about climate change as a community?
  • The economy: The cost of living has risen and job security is among the top three concerns of our young people today. How can co‑ops provide a radical solution?
Book your place at the National Youth Summit

The programme

From 12pm to 7pm on Monday 11 July, the day will be packed with workshops and events to inspire and empower you to deliver real impact for yourself and your community. The programme is currently shaping up, with session times to be confirmed and more workshops to be added. So keep checking back for updates!

Plenary session: What is a co‑op?

A co‑op is a business or organisation that’s owned and controlled by its members, to meet their shared needs. Find out more about the purpose, benefits and principles of co‑ops in this informative introduction to all things co‑operative. 

Empowering under-represented voices through radical movements 

Together, we can achieve anything! Join this interactive session with the Co‑operative College, an educational charity born 100 years ago out of a need for radical education that fights for social justice. We’ll focus on youth activism and how co-operative values and principles can be used to create real, meaningful change.

Trendsetters: Inspiring action on sustainable fashion 

Join Stitched Up – a Manchester based co‑op championing sustainable fashion – to explore the climate impact of clothing and work together to identify actionable community solutions.   

After an overview of the scale of clothing and textiles’ impact on the environment, we’ll dive into exploring the properties of different textiles that typically get sent to landfill.  

We’ll also see some great examples of community‑level textile reuse and repurposing. Choosing a few materials as a starting point, we’ll work together in small teams to put forward the best ideas for repurposing or reusing these materials within our communities. 

Write your own rules and lead the next generation 

Are you interested in building a community to help a new generation of young people to thrive? The Young Cooperators Network (YCN) was set up to promote social change through inspiring conversations, collaboration and friendship. In this session, they will share what the YCN has achieved, what the challenges have been and how we can work together to grow the network and create a fairer future. 

How to use your voice to create social change: Media training for young professionals 

What makes a good story? And how would you write a press release to ensure your message is heard? In this dynamic media training workshop, Alice Toomer‑McAlpine (Co‑op News reporter and co‑founder of The Meteor) will explore the power of narrative and explain compelling ways to tell your story and get the message across to the right people. 

Should Our Pass become a co-operative?  

You’ve had the opportunity to learn what a co‑op business model is, how co‑ops work and why they have entire communities’ interests at heart. Now it’s time to use your influence to help make a local youth initiative more co‑operative. 

Our Pass is membership scheme in Greater Manchester offering eligible 16‑18‑year‑olds free bus travel on most local bus services and access to a range of exclusive offers, discounts and experiences.  

Join the young person’s panel of Our Pass holders – and have a say in how you want the scheme to be run. Should it be a co‑op? Why? Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham will join this session to hear some of your views.  

Question Time 

The event finishes with a ‘Question Time’ style Q&A with Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, Scottish Co‑op Party Chair Ben Procter and Lenny Watson, founder of Sister Midnight, a south London based co‑op formed to create an inclusive grassroots music venue and community pub. More speakers to be confirmed.  

Plus more speakers, sessions and stalls to be announced!

Under 18s are welcome, but need to be accompanied by an adult – e.g. teacher, parent/guardian or, if attending with an organisation, you are with an adult representative.

The National Youth Summit is sponsored by The Co‑operative Bank and delivered in partnership with Co-operatives UK, Co‑op Foundation and The Co‑operative College.

National Youth Summit

Discover the power of co-operation at this inspiring, empowering event!
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