Category Archives: Co-operative Futures

Be more Hebden Bridge!

A conference taking place in Birmingham (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd February) is to look at ways to make more places like Hebden Bridge!

Future Co-ops 2019 logo

Future Co-ops 2019 will address how the co-operative sector can grow and has found that Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire has almost 50 times more independent co-operatives per head of population than Hull, only 80 miles away.

As independent, democratically-owned and controlled businesses, co-operatives often tackle some of the most important issues in a locality such as employment, access to healthy foods and care issues. But the establishment of these businesses is very sporadic and Future Co-ops 2019 will explore new, practical actions to help co-op deserts bloom!

While Hebden Bridge has been identified, in this study, as being one of the top English towns in terms of number of co-operatives per inhabitant, a number of other towns and cities have a significant density of co-ops too.

University cities, especially those with a tradition of social innovation, seem to display a higher density of co-operatives with Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford, Brighton and Manchester all scoring relatively well.

After Hebden Bridge, Totnes in Devon has been identified by Co-operative Futures as another strong example of an English ‘co-operative town’, although Hebden Bridge still has twice the number of co-operatives per head as Totnes.

According to Jo White of Co-operative Futures, the organisers of the event, co-operatives can be found right across the UK, but their distribution is very uneven.

“Our figures give an insight into the uneven distribution of co-ops. There are brilliant co-operatives across the country, and we all want to see them replicated. Future Co-ops 2019 gives delegates the opportunity to learn from Central England Co-operative’s Think Digital team some innovative, engaging and effective techniques in generating solutions to problems. We’ll be applying those techniques to the conference’s central theme – how to make co-operative deserts bloom and turn everywhere into Hebden Bridge. Only with less rain. Join us for fun, challenge, learning and great networking!”

Find out more: https://futures.coop/future-coops-2019

Future Co-ops Conference 2019

A conference that takes place at the beginning of February will be addressing the issue of co-operative deserts and how new co-ops can be helped to bloom.

Future Co-ops 2019 logo

Future Co-ops 2019 will address how the co-operative sector can grow.

Not everywhere is created equal. There are some well-known pockets of success in the UK where co-ops flourish – big cities, small towns, north and south. But there are plenty of co-op deserts too.

We’re all agreed we want more co-ops, better co-ops and, sometimes, bigger co-ops. Particularly in co-op deserts. But no fairy godmother’s going to wave a magic wand, so what do we, as a diverse sector, do with what we’ve got?

Join Co-operative Futures in Birmingham on the 1st and 2nd February 2019, where they’ll be working with Central England Co-operative’s talented Think:Digital innovation team, using their new insights and participatory problem solving techniques in a fun and effective way to explore new, practical actions we can all take away to help co-op deserts bloom!

According to Jo White of Co-operative Futures, the organisers of the event, co-operatives can be found right across the UK but their distribution is uneven.

“Future Co-ops 2019 will focus on why these geographic imbalances exist and how we can all help create the right environment to make new co-operatives flourish.”

Where: Hillscourt Hotel & Venue in Birmingham

Info: https://futures.coop/future-coops-2019

Post Carbon Co-ops – opportunities out of crises?

Post Carbon Co-ops logoA conference that takes place in the New Year will be addressing the post carbon landscape from a co-operative perspective.

The current energy bonanza based on fossil fuels cannot go on forever. Climate change reasons apart, fossil fuels are not inexhaustible. New extraction methods such as fracking promise false hope and renewables can never recreate the massive energy surplus that oil, coal and gas have provided.

The conference entitled Post Carbon Co-ops aims to bring co-operative activists together with activists from other progressive organisations to debate some of the key issues facing our future.

The post carbon landscape will impact on all areas of everyone’s lives, from access to food and transport, to energy and manufacturing. Post Carbon Co-ops will examine how co-ops can provide solutions.

Dr Mark Simmonds from Co-op Culture, who is one of the keynote speakers at the Future Co-ops conference, said: “In these times of economic uncertainty, resource depletion and climate change, the one thing we can be sure of is that the world will become a very different place in the short to medium term.

“Energy descent, in particular, will increasingly become a fact of life. We need to think strategically about the co-operative response to this challenge. How can communities co-operate to build resilience? What does a post-carbon co-operative economy that can survive and thrive, look like?”

According to Jo White of Co-operative Futures, the organisers of the event, co-operatives have led the way in offering solutions to emerging crises and the co-ops of the future need to start planning for the post carbon landscape.

“We are looking forward to welcoming a wide range of activists to Post Carbon Co-ops in February and we are hoping to move the debate forward on positive co-operative solutions for a low carbon future.”

Post Carbon Co-ops takes place on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th February 2017 at Jurys Inn in Cheltenham and delegates can book their place at early bird prices online now.