Co-op News Jan 23

The December edition of Co-op News: connecting, challenging and championing the global co-operative movement. This issue we look at changemakers in the co-op movement, including Ursula Lidbetter, who is retiring after 37 years at Lincolnshire Co-op - the last 18 as CEO. We also have an in-depth interview with Mirai Chatterjee, looking back over 40 years of SEWA's work empowering women workers, and look at projects by the EU and the ICA to encourage global co-operation. Plus Trebor Scholz on the strike at the New School, NYC, and the potential for co-operation to transform education; and there's an update on moves to empower tenants in the wake of the tragedy at Rochdale Boroughwide Housing. And we remember Roger Sawtell, a quiet, giant changemaker of the co-op movement.

The December edition of Co-op News: connecting, challenging and championing the global co-operative movement. This issue we look at changemakers in the co-op movement, including Ursula Lidbetter, who is retiring after 37 years at Lincolnshire Co-op - the last 18 as CEO. We also have an in-depth interview with Mirai Chatterjee, looking back over 40 years of SEWA's work empowering women workers, and look at projects by the EU and the ICA to encourage global co-operation. Plus Trebor Scholz on the strike at the New School, NYC, and the potential for co-operation to transform education; and there's an update on moves to empower tenants in the wake of the tragedy at Rochdale Boroughwide Housing. And we remember Roger Sawtell, a quiet, giant changemaker of the co-op movement.


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"The co-<strong>op</strong> way of thinking and doing things is going to be a big part of the<br />

future," says Ursula Lidbetter, "because there are so many issues that are<br />

about pe<strong>op</strong>le needing to come together and support and help each other -<br />

and that's what co-<strong>op</strong>eration is."<br />

Ursula is one of the changemakers we hear from this issue, as she gets ready<br />

to retire after 37 years at Lincolnshire <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative Society - the last 18 as<br />

its chief executive. She speaks to us about her time in the movement, what<br />

she has learned, and her own h<strong>op</strong>es for the future of co-<strong>op</strong>eration (p48-49).<br />

We wish her well.<br />

We also hear from Mirai Chatterjee, as SEWA looks back on 40 years of<br />

empowering and improving the lives of the India's poorest female workers<br />

(p30-33), and we get updates from some of the international strategies<br />

under way to encourage global co-<strong>op</strong>eration and a fairer future for all,<br />

including the Social Economy Action Plan (p38-39) and the ICA's work on<br />

global co-<strong>op</strong>erative identity (p40-41).<br />

But changemakers aren't just found at the t<strong>op</strong>, or in the most obvious<br />

places. Trebor Scholz, associate professor at the New School in New York,<br />

describes how student and teacher activism is paving the way for a new<br />

model for education, one that looks to remind his institution of its founding<br />

principles of community self-governance and social justice (p28-29).<br />

Issues around tenant empowerment have also come to the fore in the<br />

aftermath of the scandal at Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (p44-45) -<br />

and before Christmas, future changemakers gathered in Cardiff to hear the<br />

concerns, ideas and priorities of young pe<strong>op</strong>le, at an event convened by<br />

<strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>eratives Eur<strong>op</strong>e (p36-37).<br />

Finally, we also remember a quiet, giant change maker - Roger Sawtell - who<br />

died in December, aged 95, after a lifetime of service to co-<strong>op</strong>s (p25). In<br />

2019, <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>eratives UK awarded him its inaugural Lifetime Achievement<br />

Award.<br />

"Let us look ahead, let us build co-<strong>op</strong>erative bridges not walls," Roger said<br />

in his acceptance speech. "Let us trust each other in making decisions, let<br />

us commit ourselves to co-<strong>op</strong>eratives as a better way to work. This will give<br />

us much-needed h<strong>op</strong>e for the future."<br />

Wishing you all such h<strong>op</strong>e for the new year,<br />


<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative <strong>News</strong> is printed using vegetable oil-based inks<br />

on 80% recycled paper (with 60% from post-consumer waste)<br />

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JANUARY 20<strong>23</strong> I 3



London Mayor Sadiq Khan backs new<br />

ownership project from <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>eratives UK<br />

and the EOA (p5); Ursula Lid better retires<br />

from Lincolnshire <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> (p48-49); Young<br />

pe<strong>op</strong>le and the future of co-<strong>op</strong>eration in<br />

Eur<strong>op</strong>e (p36-37); 40 years of the SEWA<br />

<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> Federation (p30-33); Rob Wesseling,<br />

new ICMIF chair (p22-<strong>23</strong>)<br />

22-<strong>23</strong> MEET: ROB WESSELING President<br />

and CEO of <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erators and chair of<br />

ICMIF<br />


'There's a place for co-<strong>op</strong>s in the<br />

energy system'<br />



How a strike over pay and conditions<br />

could lead to a new model for education<br />



Interview with Mirai Chatterjee as the<br />

Indian federation celebrates 40 years<br />



Cybersecurity and crisis communications<br />

to future-proof co-<strong>op</strong>s<br />


COVER: Lincolnshire Science Park CO-OPERATION IN EUROPE<br />

Ursula Lid better is retiring after 37 years Cardiff event explores the priorities and<br />

at Lincolnshire <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>, the last 18 as ideas of future leaders of the movement<br />

its CEO. She looks back at some of the<br />

society's achievements, including its 38-39 SOCIAL ECONOMY ACTION PLAN<br />

involvement in regenerating the city What has the plan achieved in its first<br />

Read more: p48-49 year?<br />



Is the Statement on the <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative<br />

Identity still fit for purpose? Key findings<br />

and next steps for the movement<br />


2022 Monitor reveals joint turnover of t<strong>op</strong><br />

300 co-<strong>op</strong>eratives<br />



Questions for the rental housing sector,<br />

including co-<strong>op</strong>s providing social housing<br />


Interview: Ian Adderley, technical<br />

specialist at the Financial <strong>Co</strong>nduct<br />

Authority<br />


Interview: Ursula Lid better, who is<br />

retiring after 37 years at Lincolnshire<br />


5-13 UK news<br />

14-21 Global news<br />

24 Letters<br />

25 Obituaries<br />

50 Events<br />

4 I JANUARY 20<strong>23</strong>

ENERGY<br />

Leading co-<strong>op</strong>s join call on government to back renewable energy<br />

The <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> Group, Midcounties and<br />

Central retail co-<strong>op</strong>s, along with sector<br />

body <strong>Co</strong>mmunity Energy England, are<br />

among the signatories of a letter urging<br />

ministers to 'green the energy grid' by<br />

powering investment in renewable energy.<br />

The letter - also signed by Tesco,<br />

Morrisons and M&S - calls for the<br />

following measures to help devel<strong>op</strong><br />

renewables:<br />

• fiscal and financial action to encourage<br />

and incentivise investment in renewable<br />

energy and energy efficiency;<br />

• reforms to planning regimes so<br />

renewable energy schemes can rapidly<br />

move from concept to <strong>op</strong>eration;<br />

• support for community energy<br />

organisations to devel<strong>op</strong> projects which<br />

involve the wider public in the Net Zero<br />

transition; and<br />

• changes to the way the energy market<br />

<strong>op</strong>erates to ensure a fair price for green<br />

energy for households and industry.<br />

"We are writing today as leaders of<br />

businesses representing over SOo/o of the<br />

UK's food retail sector and more than 300<br />

community energy businesses all over<br />

the UK on the need for the government<br />

to work with us," reads the letter, "so<br />

that unlocking additional renewable<br />

energy generation capacity becomes a<br />

more central priority in addressing the<br />

challenges we currently face.<br />

"It is clear to us all when we look<br />

at energy security, <strong>op</strong>portunities for<br />

economic prosperity and moving towards<br />

the government's 2050 Net Zero target<br />

that growing the UK's renewable energy<br />

capacity must be a very significant part of<br />

the answer for our country."<br />

Warning ministers to avoid a "missed<br />

economic, security and environmental<br />

<strong>op</strong>portunity," the letter says government<br />

plays a "pivotal role" when it comes to<br />

unlocking investment.<br />

"With renewable energy now cheaper<br />

than the alternative, quicker to source and<br />

better for the environment, there's every<br />

reason to prioritise greater support for<br />

greening the grid. We would very much<br />

welcome the <strong>op</strong>portunity to meet with you<br />

to discuss how together we can seize the<br />

<strong>op</strong>portunities ahead of us."<br />

The letter cites independent research<br />

by <strong>Co</strong>rnwall Insight, commissioned by<br />

the <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> Group, which has revealed<br />

that only 18.So/o of planned renewable<br />

generation is assessed as highly likely to<br />

devel<strong>op</strong> as planned. It also finds that grid<br />

decarbonisation is moving too slowly,<br />

warning that less than 60o/o of the UK's<br />

energy will be from renewables by 2030.<br />

At present, around 40o/o of the UK's<br />

generation is from renewable sources.<br />

The government has committed to<br />

decarbonising electricity generation by<br />

2035. The Climate Change <strong>Co</strong>mmittee has<br />

suggested that renewables will need to<br />

make up over 70o/o of generation.<br />

The letter states the need for government<br />

to work with business to unlock additional<br />

renewable capacity, including directly<br />

funding wind or solar energy farms<br />

which co-<strong>op</strong>s have committed to.<br />

"Midcounties has been a long-standing<br />

advocate of greening the grid and<br />

has worked with, and alongside, our<br />

members over many years to encourage<br />

and facilitate locally owned communityowned<br />

energy," said Midcounties CEO,<br />

Phil Ponsonby. Midcounties has also been<br />

supporting community energy, notably<br />

through the <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> <strong>Co</strong>mmunity Power<br />

tariff, a joint venture with Oct<strong>op</strong>us Energy.<br />

"We already have agreements in<br />

place with over 200 community energy<br />

providers," added Ponsonby, "supplying<br />

enough energy for 60,000 homes through<br />

our <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> <strong>Co</strong>mmunity Power tariff, and<br />

join this campaign on behalf of our<br />

members to call for changes to further<br />

support renewable energy in the UK."<br />

From Central <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>, CEO Debbie<br />

Robinson said: "Our purpose is to create a<br />

sustainable society for all. We've reduced<br />

our carbon emissions by 80o/o since 2011,<br />

been zero to landfill since 2012 and been<br />

awarded the Carbon Trust Triple standard<br />

four times in a row.<br />

"We are committed to generating green<br />

energy across our family of businesses<br />

installing photo voltaic in 50 of our stores.<br />

It's our long-term vision to generate<br />

energy to be self-sufficient and potentially<br />

deliver a surplus for our communities."<br />

Shirine Khoury-Haq, CEO of the Group,<br />

highlighted how the energy market is<br />

at a crisis point and "we need urgent<br />

government action to deliver energy<br />

security, drive economic growth and move<br />

us closer to net zero".<br />

She added: "The <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> is directly<br />

sourcing energy from a solar farm and<br />

will have even more of its energy coming<br />

from such sources in the future as part<br />

of a multi-million pound programme to<br />

increase the pr<strong>op</strong>ortion of directly funded<br />

renewable energy we use."<br />

From sector apex <strong>Co</strong>mmunity Energy<br />

England, acting co-CEO Duncan Law<br />

said: "The community energy sector<br />

harnesses local passion, expertise<br />

and money to realise decarbonisation<br />

<strong>op</strong>portunities at scale and engage the<br />

public in driving the energy transition.<br />

"The sector doubled in size every<br />

year between 2014 and 2017 when there<br />

was government support. Recently<br />

local climate action, indispensable to<br />

achieving net zero, has been thwarted,<br />

not supported, by government policy.<br />

This must change if we are to succeed<br />

in tackling climate change and building<br />

energy security for all."<br />

More energy stories pB-9<br />

JANUARY 20<strong>23</strong> I 7

RETAIL<br />

Chelmsford Star boosts<br />

its online offer with link<br />

to department store<br />

HOME<br />


Chelmsford Star <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> has launched a<br />

number of upgrades to its online services,<br />

including home delivery through Snappy<br />

Sh<strong>op</strong>per and online ranges from its<br />

Quadrant department store, meaning<br />

pe<strong>op</strong>le across the country can access a<br />

co-<strong>op</strong> department store once again.<br />

Holidays can be purchased online,<br />

after the society partnered with Jet2 for<br />

a commercially viable solution, and its<br />

funerals site has a commitment-free,<br />

tailor-made quote-builder. The society<br />

has also launched a new member portal,<br />

giving access to different services,<br />

including additional discounts.<br />

While Chelmsford Star had previously<br />

considered the <strong>op</strong>portunities of online<br />

trading, "we were mindful that the<br />

devel<strong>op</strong>ment required could be prohibitive<br />

in terms of making it commercially<br />

viable," said Barry Wood, chief executive.<br />

"But when the pandemic hit, the society<br />

was immediately at a disadvantage<br />

compared to other retailers."<br />

This prompted a review by the society<br />

of its online <strong>op</strong>tions across its businesses.<br />

For food, Chelmsford Star partnered<br />

with Snappy Sh<strong>op</strong>per - chosen for its<br />

link-ups with retail co-<strong>op</strong>s like Southern,<br />

Central and Tamworth; its compatible,<br />

capital-light platform and the online<br />

prices matched those in store.<br />

Chelmsford Star's Quadrant department<br />

store is one of the few remaining on the<br />

UK mainland. "The loss of the ability to<br />

trade the stores during the pandemic and<br />

the rise in online sh<strong>op</strong>ping acted as the<br />

catalyst to build the functionality to trade<br />

the department stores online," said Wood.<br />

Initially, just the Housewares<br />

department is being traded online but<br />

this will be extended to further home<br />

departments in the new year.<br />

Quadrant online: bit.ly/3FixblD<br />

<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>s step up community crisis support for Christmas<br />

The <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> Group has become the first<br />

retailer to launch £1m of funding for<br />

community organisations across the UK<br />

which are providing warm spaces over<br />

the coldest months. Up to £3,000 per<br />

group is available by applying at co<strong>op</strong>.uk/<br />

warmspaces by 28 February.<br />

Heart of England <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> has provided<br />

140,000 charity meals this year through<br />

FareShare Midlands. Efforts continue,<br />

with support going to 550 frontline<br />

charities, such as school breakfast clubs,<br />

community centres and charities. Other<br />

retail co-<strong>op</strong>s including Midcounties,<br />

Lincolnshire and Scotmid are also<br />

supporting foodbanks.<br />

Tamworth <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> is sharing a £35,000<br />

festive pot among 70 community<br />

organisations to mark the Queen's 70-<br />

year reign. The 70 for 70 <strong>Co</strong>mmunity<br />

Donation is the largest single amount<br />

ever handed out by the society. Recipients<br />

include charities working young pe<strong>op</strong>le,<br />

single mums, victims of domestic abuse,<br />

homeless pe<strong>op</strong>le and disabled pe<strong>op</strong>le.<br />

East of England <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> has donated its<br />

£100,000 Christmas marketing budget<br />

to local warm hubs and foodbanks.<br />

Working with Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex<br />

<strong>Co</strong>mmunity Foundations, £70,000 will be<br />

split among warm hubs. The remaining<br />

£30,000 goes to 25 local foodbanks.<br />

Central <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> is continuing its Goodwill<br />

to All campaign with a buy-one, give-one<br />

initiative which has already provided<br />

68,000 hot meals to those in need through<br />

FareShare Midlands. Elsewhere in stores,<br />

customers can continue to donate food<br />

items in designated collection points.<br />

Southern <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> Funeralcare branches<br />

have given donations including 2,000<br />

crackers to schools, and 1,000 mince pies<br />

to Farlington Church's festive bags appeal.<br />

A further £570 goes to Gosport Voluntary<br />

Action for hampers for 100 local pe<strong>op</strong>le.<br />

Channel Islands <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> initiatives include<br />

the return of Christmas Wish trees to its<br />

Grand Marche stores. Customers can take<br />

a tag, and wrap and return the requested<br />

gifts for pe<strong>op</strong>le in the community<br />

JANUARY 20<strong>23</strong> I 11


- Researchers<br />

gather from across<br />

Africa to look at the<br />

solidarity economy<br />

The <strong>Co</strong>nference on <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>eratives and the<br />

Solidarity Economy (CCSE 2022) brought<br />

together researchers from across Africa<br />

in Johannesburg to look at issues such as<br />

housing, agriculture, inclusion and rural<br />

devel<strong>op</strong>ment.<br />

Running from 2-4 November, the event<br />

was organised by the Africa <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>eratives<br />

Institute of South Africa (ACI-SA) in<br />

partnership with the Gauteng Enterprise<br />

Pr<strong>op</strong>eller (GEP) and the Global Social<br />

Economy Forum (GSEF) and endorsed by<br />

the International <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative Alliance<br />

(ICA), the Small Enterprise Devel<strong>op</strong>ment<br />

Agency and the Uhuru Institute for Social<br />

Devel<strong>op</strong>ment.<br />

Submissions came from scholars in<br />

South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania,<br />

Spain, Brazil, Argentina and Zimbabwe.<br />

GEP CEO Saki Zamxaka told delegates<br />

such research is vital in advancing the<br />

work of agencies involved in co-<strong>op</strong>erative<br />

devel<strong>op</strong>ment. His organisation has a <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>eratives<br />

Assistance Programme, he<br />

added, which was designed intentionally<br />

to provide financial and non-financial<br />

assistance for qualifying co-<strong>op</strong>eratives in<br />

the Gauteng Province.<br />

<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>s had the chance to exhibit their<br />

work at the conference, and on the final<br />

day, co-<strong>op</strong> representatives presented<br />

GLOBAL<br />

lcmif devel<strong>op</strong>s<br />

tools to measure<br />

sector's sustainable<br />

devel<strong>op</strong>ment impact<br />

The International <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative and<br />

Mutual Insurance Federation (Icmif) has<br />

launched an Insurance SDG Calculator at<br />

its centenary conference in Rome.<br />

Devel<strong>op</strong>ed by Swiss Re Institute<br />

under the UN Principles for Sustainable<br />

Insurance (UN PSI) iSDG initiative, the<br />

calculator is the first tool to measure<br />

insurance sustainability impact against<br />

their work models to get feedback from<br />

participants. The discussions were<br />

followed later in the month by a project<br />

mapping worksh<strong>op</strong>.<br />

ACI-SA aims to keep future editions of<br />

the conference inclusive by ensuring that<br />

co-<strong>op</strong>s are part of the research discussions.<br />

Meanwhile, GSEF enabled ten<br />

researchers who could not attend in<br />

person to present their papers online.<br />

The studies presented covered t<strong>op</strong>ics<br />

including housing, agriculture, savings,<br />

rural devel<strong>op</strong>ment, entrepreneurship,<br />

inclusion, and co-<strong>op</strong> identity, with<br />

community-based case studies from South<br />

Africa, Mondragon, Zimbabwe, Uganda<br />

and Tanzania.<br />

Keynote speakers included Ruth<br />

Bhengu, director of the Institute of<br />

<strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>eratives and <strong>Co</strong>mmunity Economic<br />

Devel<strong>op</strong>ment, and South African<br />

parliamentarian who dedicated her life<br />

for the devel<strong>op</strong>ment of co-<strong>op</strong>s; Leonard<br />

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the Insurance Sustainable Devel<strong>op</strong>ment<br />

Goals (iSDGs). Icmif worked with Swiss Re<br />

Institute to come up with a "commitment<br />

framework", which determines the<br />

indicators, their scoring ranges, and the<br />

weighting scheme for all indicators and<br />

SDGs.<br />

Icmif's co-<strong>op</strong>erative and mutual<br />

members will be able to use the<br />

Okello, CEO of Uhuru Institute for Social<br />

Devel<strong>op</strong>ment in Uganda; Aude Saldana,<br />

the general secretary of the Global Social<br />

Economy Forum; and Saki Zamxaka, CEO<br />

of the GEP.<br />

The panellists were Kwathi Koka,<br />

SEDA, Sebonkile Thaba and Prof Tanusha<br />

Raniga, University of Johannesburg. The<br />

panel focused on <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>eratives in the post­<br />

<strong>Co</strong>vid era and was moderated by Katleho<br />

Ralehoko, chair of the Africa <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>eratives<br />

Institute of SA.<br />

The 20<strong>23</strong> conference will convene again<br />

in the Gauteng Province in November<br />

20<strong>23</strong>, and will look for practical solutions<br />

dealing with group dynamics in co<strong>op</strong>erative<br />

settings and to come up with<br />

tools to manage group risks in member<br />

based solidarity enterprises.<br />

Details for the 20<strong>23</strong> conference will be<br />

published on 5 December 2022 on myccse.<br />

com; the conference book of abstracts is<br />

available at myccse.com<br />

framework to assess their own iSDG<br />

impact against a set of indicators that<br />

reflect mutual values and strategic<br />

focal areas, such as risk prevention and<br />

inclusive insurance.<br />

Shaun Tarbuck, chief executive, Icmif<br />

said: "Thanks to our partnership with<br />

the Swiss Re Institute, lcmif is pioneering<br />

iSDG impact measurement. <strong>Co</strong>-created<br />

to scale globally, we h<strong>op</strong>e the Icmifcalibrated<br />

Insurance SDG Calculator will<br />

help usher a new era of underwriting."<br />

Icmif members will also be able to<br />

use the apex's network to share best<br />

practices and further devel<strong>op</strong> their own<br />

SDG strategies while working towards a<br />

sustainable future.<br />

16 I JANUARY 20<strong>23</strong>

In the T<strong>op</strong> 300 by turnover over GDP per<br />

capita the agriculture sector is predominant with<br />

101 organisations. The insurance sector has 85<br />

enterprises in the t<strong>op</strong> 300 while the wholesale<br />

and retail trade has 57. The financial service<br />

sector is more prominent in this ranking with 41<br />

enterprises compared to 26 enterprises in the T<strong>op</strong><br />

300 by turnover.<br />

Leading the sector rankings based on turnover<br />

are: the Japanese Zen-Noh (agriculture and food);<br />

The survey found all co-<strong>op</strong>eratives have<br />

activated online modes of participation in their<br />

general meetings. The chapter notes that although<br />

digital tools have ample potential in engaging<br />

members unable to attend the meetings in person,<br />

they have also shown limitations in engaging<br />

certain categories of members unfamiliar with the<br />

use of technologies. Over half of the co-<strong>op</strong>eratives<br />

surveyed also see the potential of digital tools to<br />

involve members in the co-creation of services<br />





Spain's <strong>Co</strong>rporaci6n Mondragon (industry and<br />

utilities); Germany's REWE Group (wholesale and<br />

retail trade); Japan's Nippon Life (Insurance);<br />

France's Groupe Credit Agricole (financial<br />

services); Brazil's Sistema Unimed (education,<br />

health and social work); Italy's worker co-<strong>op</strong><br />

Manutenco<strong>op</strong> (other services).<br />

Special focus on digitisation<br />

The monitor also explores the impact of<br />

digitisation, particularly in the aftermath of the<br />

<strong>Co</strong>vid-19 crisis. The findings are based on a survey<br />

of co-<strong>op</strong>s in 27 countries, carried out by the ICA's<br />

International <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative Entrepreneurship<br />

Think Tank.<br />

Respondents to the survey said they are aware<br />

of the importance of digital tools that cut across<br />

different functions of corporate life and recognise<br />

that "something fundamental has changed in the<br />

way co-<strong>op</strong>eratives are managed". About one in<br />

ten co-<strong>op</strong>s considers itself to be poorly digitalised.<br />

Eight out of ten co-<strong>op</strong>eratives interviewed said<br />

it was important or essential to use digital tools<br />

to sell goods and services online and manage<br />

relationships with customers and suppliers. A<br />

quarter of the respondents consider these only<br />

"quite important".<br />

The key areas for co-<strong>op</strong>eratives regarding the<br />

use of digital tools are IT system security (70o/o),<br />

management software (48o/o), e-commerce (41o/o),<br />

cloud computing and remote management<br />

of services and infrastructure (41o/o), and<br />

communication and web and social media<br />

content creation (37o/o).<br />

and goods and to promote interaction among<br />

members.<br />

The chapter concludes that while digitisation<br />

does not seem able to "radically reshape the way<br />

co-<strong>op</strong>eratives relate to their members", digital<br />

tools can facilitate the involvement of co-<strong>op</strong><br />

members in some situations, especially when<br />

they are placed side by side with traditional<br />

methods. Furthermore, it adds, large co-<strong>op</strong>s are<br />

aware of the impact of digitisation on the world of<br />

work and focus on "ensuring sustainable growth<br />

and decent work for all".<br />

ICA director general Bruno Roelants said:<br />

"Thanks to the co-<strong>op</strong>erative business model,<br />

which is based on democratic participation and<br />

control, we can see how to take advantage of the<br />

positive effects of digitisation and mitigate the<br />

negative ones."<br />

Gianluca Salvatori, secretary general of<br />

Euricse, said: "We are experiencing an exciting<br />

new season of visibility for the social economy.<br />

All over the world, initiatives that give visibility<br />

to this approach to economic activities are<br />

multiplying: from the Eur<strong>op</strong>ean Social Economy<br />

Action Plan to the OECD Recommendation and<br />

the ILO Resolution.<br />

"It is, therefore, increasingly important that<br />

the social economy and its actors, including<br />

co-<strong>op</strong>eratives, be recognised for the scale of<br />

their impact. This is a further confirmation and<br />

challenge for the WCM - to help build a more<br />

accurate understanding of the social economy<br />

and, more specifically, the co-<strong>op</strong>erative sector."<br />

The full report is available at monitor.co<strong>op</strong>.<br />

JANUARY 20<strong>23</strong> I 43

Do you have a co-<strong>op</strong>erative<br />

event - taking place in person,<br />

online, or as a hybrid - to be<br />

featured?<br />

Tell us at: events@thenews.co<strong>op</strong><br />

<strong>Co</strong>nversations with Gamechangers -<br />

Zameen Prapti Sangharsh <strong>Co</strong>mmittee<br />

14 <strong>Jan</strong>uary 20<strong>23</strong> (online, 3-5pm GMT)<br />

This webinar is the fifth of a series of<br />

conversations with radical grass-roots<br />

solidarity economy organisations across<br />

the world who are breaking new ground<br />

in their own contexts while building<br />

power in their communities. The Zameen<br />

Prapti Sangharsh <strong>Co</strong>mmittee has<br />

been building a movement of landless<br />

farmers to reclaim access to land they<br />

are rightfully entitled to in the Punjab<br />

region of India and were influential in the<br />

groundbreaking farmers' protests which<br />

took place across India in 2020-2021.<br />

C-::> bit.ly/3F0H2EB<br />

<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> Women's Voices: Anna Tibblin<br />

25 <strong>Jan</strong>uary, 2pm GMT (online)<br />

As part of the ongoing <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> Women's<br />

Voices series, Anna Tibblin, secretary<br />

general of We Effect, talks about her co<strong>op</strong>erative<br />

journey. We Effect is based in<br />

Sweden and works to try to end poverty<br />

worldwide by strengthening co-<strong>op</strong>s of<br />

women and men living in poverty through<br />

membership-based democracy, long-term<br />

economic thinking, social responsibility<br />

and transparency. Tibblin is also on the<br />

boards of Svensk Ko<strong>op</strong>eration, the ICMIF<br />

Foundation and Amnesty International<br />

Sweden. This event is co-hosted by <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong><br />

<strong>News</strong> and the <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative <strong>Co</strong>llege.<br />

c-::> bit.ly/3sHDKOg<br />

Future <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>s 20<strong>23</strong>: From Crisis to<br />

<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>eration<br />

10-11 February 20<strong>23</strong> (Oxford)<br />

What role can co-<strong>op</strong>s play in supporting<br />

pe<strong>op</strong>le through the cost of living crisis?<br />

And what can existing co-<strong>op</strong>s do to<br />

support other co-<strong>op</strong>s on the frontline?<br />

C-::> futures.co<strong>op</strong>/from-crisis-to-co<strong>op</strong>/<br />

<strong>Co</strong>nversations with Gamechangers -<br />

Guerrilla Translation<br />

11 February 20<strong>23</strong> (online, 3-5pm GMT)<br />

Guerrilla Translation is an activist<br />

commons-oriented co-<strong>op</strong>erative created<br />

to share ideas between communities<br />

and spread the word about things<br />

that matter. To help support activist<br />

translators and freelancers to use<br />

their skills for causes they care about<br />

while also making a living, Guerrilla<br />

Translation has devel<strong>op</strong>ed a new kind<br />

of livelihood vehicle which combines<br />

two functions: a voluntary translation/<br />

media collective working for activist<br />

causes, and an income-generating<br />

co<strong>op</strong>erative agency providing translation<br />

and communication services. This is a<br />

form of 'economic resistance'; a means of<br />

ethically coherent, sustainable livelihood<br />

for knowledge workers, and the creation<br />

of a multilingual knowledge commons<br />

that upholds the <strong>op</strong>en-source, global<br />

sharing of ideas.<br />

c-::> bit.ly/3VjKuiM<br />

UK Society for <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative Studies<br />

<strong>Co</strong>nference<br />

24-25 February 20<strong>23</strong> (Lincoln)<br />

This conference will take the <strong>op</strong>portunity<br />

to reflect on <strong>Co</strong>nsumer <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>eration,<br />

particularly in the context of the business<br />

and service delivery changes over the<br />

past three years. The programme will<br />

include panel discussions and academic<br />

papers, exploring the position of<br />

consumer co-<strong>op</strong>eratives in the present,<br />

looking at member engagement, the<br />

use of technology to facilitate online<br />

meetings and how data is shaping<br />

retailer's relationships wit members. G-::><br />

ukscs.co<strong>op</strong><br />

<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> Retail <strong>Co</strong>nference<br />

24-26 March (Cheshire)<br />

The <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative Retail <strong>Co</strong>nference is the<br />

only annual event designed specifically<br />

for co-<strong>op</strong>erative retailers. It attracts<br />

leaders, managers and directors of<br />

consumer owned retail co-<strong>op</strong>eratives<br />

from across the UK.<br />

c-::> uk.co<strong>op</strong>/crc<br />

<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> <strong>Co</strong>ngress<br />

June (date and location TBC)<br />

<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> <strong>Co</strong>ngress brings together those<br />

working to build a fairer economy to<br />

share ideas, get inspiration and take<br />

action.<br />

Details TBC<br />

Practitioners Forum<br />

<strong>23</strong> November (Manchester)<br />

One of the leading training and<br />

devel<strong>op</strong>ment event for pe<strong>op</strong>le working<br />

in co-<strong>op</strong>erative businesses - big and<br />

small - Practitioners Forum is an annual<br />

sell-out. It hosts around 20 sessions<br />

across five specialist forums covering<br />

membership, governance, finance, HR<br />

and communications.<br />

Details TBC<br />

50 I JANUARY 20<strong>23</strong>

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