Conference Update


Co-operative Business Consultants (CBC) has said it is delighted with the response to its conference on ‘Ways Forward for the Co-operative Movement’, held on 17 January in Manchester.

Organised in the wake of the crisis over the future of the Co-operative Bank, the conference was attended by over 150 people from all kinds of co-operatives, credit unions and trade unions, as well as individuals and journalists. The event featured experienced speakers, best practice case studies, workshops, exhibition stalls and networking.

The conference was sponsored by the UK Society for Co-operative Studies and the country’s largest worker co-op, Suma Wholefoods, as well as by CBC.

Jo Bird, who organised the conference along with her CBC colleague Phil Frampton, commented:

“The conference saw some open, honest and wide-ranging discussions about the future of the co-operative movement in the UK. Issues that have been brushed under the carpet for years – like members’ capital contributions, and governance in very large organisations – were addressed in a very positive and forward-looking way.”

This was echoed by leading co-operative lawyer Ian Snaith: “I found it really inspiring and stimulating. Congratulations on the numbers and the quality of contributions from both the floor and the invited contributors.”

“CBC itself has limited resources to take things forward”, said Jo Bird, “but we hope this is just the beginning of a much wider process in which all co-operators will engage.”

For more information, please contact Jo Bird,, 07970 075704

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