Can co-operative deserts bloom?

Why is it that some places seem to have active, thriving co-operative scenes? What alchemy happens in those places that adds up to a varied scene of more, and better, co-ops, mutuals and community enterprises?

How can we learn from those places to help other areas – your area? – to create and sustain equally successful co-operatives and community businesses?

We are proud to sponsor Co-operative Futures Future Co-ops Conference again for the tenth time (at least!) and this time next week, we’ll be rolling up our sleeves with a range of participants in Birmingham, to get to the bottom of these questions.

The conference, this year, takes a new and different form. Using participatory problem solving techniques refined by Think:Digital , the aim is to get everyone involved in generating and finding solutions. A lot of what we’ve learned about what the sector needs requires some national level, top down change – and we need to accept that right now, that’s not forthcoming. So, what can be done instead? We’re confident that there are answers and ideas out there – we just need to unearth them.

The full programme is here and tickets are still on sale. Co-operative Futures believe – and we agree – that the conference will work best with a wide variety of participants, so you are invited from wherever you fit into the world of co-ops, mutuals and social business.

We’re looking forward to the event a great deal and we’re excited to hear new voices along with the old. We’re looking forward to meeting you there.