Members learning from academics and practitioners

Members learning from academics and practitioners

Members learning from academics and practitioners at the UK Society for Co-operative Studies Conference.

Blog by MCC members attending:  Shaz Rahman and Amanda Gallie, Western, Karl Furniss and Kathryn Smith, Northern and Richard Bickle, Jane Avery and Tanya Noon from the Board.

We had a fascinating two days at the UK Society for Co-operative Studies Conference. We learned about the wide scope of academic research within the Co-operative sector as well as sharing our experiences of our day to day experiences of being within Central Co-op. 

Our CEO Debbie Robinson was the first speaker on day one. She shared Central Co-op's strategy and the action Central Co-op is taking to be a sustainable society including spending a further £3 million on solar panels.

We also had the opportunity to have a test play through of a board game where players get to play through a scenario of financial life. The game teaches aspects of career learning such as teaching about tax and national insurance and having to deal with unexpected events like expensive car repairs!   An interactive way to engage with students on employability skills.

On the academic side we heard from academics on a host of subjects including de-growth and worker co-ops, accountancy and sustainability of worker coops and the possibility of a new co-ops and practitioner conference in 2025. 

 It was an opportunity for those from the MCC to engage with the academic co-op community, who we don't often interact with. It was also great to share our knowledge of co-op action on the ground with the work we do in our regions representing the MCCs.

 Quotes from the MCC members:
"It was great to hear about how the society is developing strategies to use more of our apprenticeship levy fund and to offer learning and development opportunities to colleagues of all ages!”

 “There was some great content from the studies. It was interesting to hear from lots of different aspects of different types of coops that I am not aware of. Highlight for me was seeing a real-life example of the use of an AL tool that summaries the coop values from a large financial book/paper in to tablet format making the document easier to read and more accessible to people”.

 “The event was well organised and Central Co-op was proud to host the event. It was good to be part of co-operation collaboration and networking and in particularly  interesting to hear from the Building Society authority and other mutual societies.  The presentation by Jane Avery and her visit to Malawi was great and how we could perhaps support the planting of trees there.  I also found the stories of other co-operatives in Spain and Ireland amazing.  Would definitely attend again”.