February event: co-operatives take up Jeremy Corbyn’s challenge


On Friday 16 February from 9.45am – 4.30pm, co-operatives will gather to take up Jeremy Corbyn’s challenge of providing a clear strategy to create a dynamic, sustainable co-operative Britain. 

The organiser, Co-operative Business Consultants is a co-operative consortium of individuals and organisations committed to social justice through solidarity co-ops. We operate in the UK and Ireland. 

Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey will be keynote speaker at the 2018 ‘Ways Forward 6’ conference, an annual event organised by CBC. The event brings co-operative representatives and consultants from across the country together with trades unionists and social entrepreneurs to develop a framework for building a co-operative economy.

The Ways Forward conferences originated in the crisis of the Co-op Group and Bank in 2014 when it was felt that the situation was so important that it required urgent discussion by the co-operative movement and the left as a whole.  The conference was a success and since 2014 Co-operative Business Consultants has organised the annual non profit-making event to keep alight the flame of open, honest and frank discussion regarding the major issues facing the co-operative movement. Past keynote speakers include John McDonnell, Ken Loach, Matt Wrack (FBU Gen Secretary), Angela Rayner and Sheila Coleman (Hillsborough Campaign and Unite).

This year, delegates have been asked to rise to the challenge laid down by Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who commented recently: “I want the public ownership of water, Royal Mail and energy, but I don’t want it to be necessarily a huge state model. I’d rather there was a co-op principle in the way it is run.” and who challenged, “the wider co-operative movement to come forward with your ideas, your enthusiasm, your energy.”

Organisers and sponsors

Sponsors of the conference include leading organisations in the co-operative movement, such as the Co-operative Party and the co-operative umbrella organisation, Co-operatives UK. They share the widespread belief that the British economy is in permanent crisis and cannot solve its productivity malaise without the conscious democratic involvement of employees and consumers in the running of industry, commerce and public services.

This year’s conference, for co-operatives, social enterprises, the labour movement and social justice activists, focusses on discussing how co-operative methods can be adapted and developed as part of Labour’s focus on co-operation as a key part of its economic development proposals – especially regarding national industries such as energy. Trade union involvement will be crucial if this plan is to bear fruit.

Early Bird Offer (payment received by 31st Jan): Organisation delegates £60, Individuals £45. Fees include lunch & refreshments. A limited number of Bursary Places are available.

To book places or get more details, go to our Eventbrite page. Contact Jo Bird 07970 075704 (jo@cbc.coop) further details or media passes, or if you wish to sponsor or have a stall.




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