CoTech are invited to contribute to Co-op Solidarity conference workshops

Jo Bird at Co-operative Business Consultants Limited asked me to post this here:

As you may know Co-operative Business Consultants are organising a major conference on coop solidarity on 16 February in Manchester. Please find and share information on the conference at Facebook and

CBC would like to invite a CoTech colleague to contribute to a couple of conference workshops. This is in addition to closing plenary speech by Kayleigh Walsh. Contributors would have a free place at the conference all day. Please could you pass on this invitation to the CoTech network?

  • 9:45am Workshop 1. Beginners guide to tech and platform co-ops – Someone from a suitable co-op would lead this session and answer questions, bring some examples to life etc.
  • 1:20pm Workshop 6. A Co-operative Sector Solidarity Council? with Co-Tech, Nwhs, SfC and others – a round table discussion with key organisations of coops in many sectors

Please don’t hesitate to make contact with any questions etc.

Any volunteers for this? I did say to Jo that if there are none she might be able to twist my arm into it… but I’d be happy for someone else to take it on.

I’d be happy for you to go, Chris


I’d be willing to be involved in this Chris. I’m not convinced of the notion of a Solidarity Council - whatever that might be, but I’d be happy to put something together for the Workshop 1 on platform coops. Would you be interested in a double act?

The programme says that @Kayleigh is doing workshop 1?

I’d be happy for you to do something on Platform Co-ops, if it isn’t already covered, I’m not sure what a “A Co-operative Sector Solidarity Council” would be either plus I’m not sure who Nwhs and SfC (perhaps Seeds for Change) are?

I’ll probably get a ticket to attend as a member of the audience but I haven’t done so yet…

Let’s wait for @Kayleigh to respond, unless you know more detail of what’s planned @chris? NWHS is North West Housing Services I think - one of the event sponsors.

I’ve posted all I know here.

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Jo Bird has been in touch, indicating that @Kayleigh has not - as yet - agreed to do this workshop. I’m waiting to hear more from Jo to clarify things…

@Graham and I will be running a workshop at 9:45am the Ways Forward 6 Conference: Co-operative Solidarity, on Friday 16th February 2018, in Manchester, titled “Beginners guide to tech and platform co-ops” and I have just created a wiki page to use for our notes, it would be great to have some other people from CoTech in the audience, keeping us on our toes :wink: .

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And of course if anyone has any thoughts about content for the session, we’re all ears.

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Would be good if you could cover the spectrum of how the coop model works well with tech. Suggest three pillars:

Worker coops in areas like digital design and software - work brilliantly in an industry where collaboration and flat structures are accepted, where all workers can have creative input.

User coops and user/producer coops - a better form of intermediation than platform capitalism - hardwired to disrupt the disruptors.

Business and consortium coops - already fundamental to the structure of the Internet in Internet exchanges and the potential answer to the false choice between digital infrastructure monopoly and infrastructure competition.

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Oh dear…I’ve just logged in for the first time in ages and have seen these messages @Graham @chris. Thanks so much for offering to do the workshop, I’ll see you at the conference :wave:

Hi @Kayleigh. Very happy to be able to do something to support/promote CoTech. See you there.

There is an MP3 of the workshop Graham a I did yesterday on the wiki page with a player (sorry for all the um’s!).

It was a good event, lots of interest in CoTech and we suggested that people wanting to continue the discussions can use this forum :slight_smile:.


Great stuff, listened with interest much like your audience. Well done.

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What happened, I though we were going to see you yesterday, hope you didn’t fall ill or something…

Indeed. It’s a shame that @chris and I weren’t aware of the fact that Kayleigh wasn’t able to make it. Had we known we would have happily filled in at the closing plenary and been able to make the most of the opportunity. As it was Chris had the presence of mind to make a short statement from the floor. Overall a pretty good event, with about 120 participants. The speech from Rebecca Long Bailey was encouraging: a clear invitation and an opportunity to engage with them to help develop effective strategies for growing the cooperative economy.

Yep, I was ill on Thursday night and most of Friday - we’ve had an impressive amount of bugs going round Outlandish. I emailed Martin and Jo but completely forgot to email you because I wasn’t well enough to remember that you were doing the workshop.

Glad it went well and thanks for making the impromptu comments from the floor :slight_smile:

The speech by Rebecca Long-Bailey the Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, gave to the Ways Forward 6: Co-operative Solidarity Conference on 16th February 2018:

Worth a watch / listen if you want to know where the Labour Shadow Cabinet stands in regards to support for co-operatives.