Future Co-ops 2019

Friday, 1st February & Saturday, 2nd February 2019 Birmingham

Future Co-ops 2019 is going to be THE conference to attend this year to examine the importance of co-operative development 

Do you, like us, want to see more, better and bigger co-ops, mutuals and community enterprises?
Do you, like us, scratch your head wondering why some parts of the country seem to be fertile ground for co-ops and social enterprises, and other parts seem to be deserts?

If so, join us to tackle the conference question: Can Co-operative Deserts Bloom?”

Who’s the conference for?
It’s for everyone who works in or supports co-ops, mutuals and community enterprises. So it’s for you if you’re a supporter, member, board member or executive of co-ops of any form (eg retail, worker, producer), Community Benefit Societies of every stripe (eg energy, retail, sports club, charitable), mutuals, Community Land Trusts, and community and social enterprises of every type. It’s also for you if you’re from the co-operative party, or a supportive Local Authority, or a co-op development organisation, or if you’re a funder or a grant maker, or just someone who wants to see more co-ops and mutuals in the world.

What’s the format?
We’ve decided this year to break the mould, and instead of the usual conference format of listening to a bunch of speakers we’ll be rolling up our sleeves and getting stuck in to some novel, engaging problem solving techniques focused on how to grow more co-ops, mutuals and community enterprises, make existing enterprises better and bigger, and particularly looking at how to make co-op deserts more fertile.

The techniques we’ll be using are delivered by Central England Co-op’s innovation team called Think:Digital. They’re refining some powerful and fun participatory problem solving techniques that can be used by anyone to seek solutions that really focus on core problems.

Why are we doing this?
Basically because the co-op sector has for years (decades, actually) sought solutions to increase the size of the co-op economy. Most of the research concludes what we all know the sector needs – access to finance, forming national and regional co-op development agencies, etc. The trouble is, these are top-down, long term policy solutions that depend on political will, and nobody’s making that happen at the moment.

So we’re asking ourselves: what happens if we ignore the top down solutions (or rather, park them to one side for a moment), work with what we’ve got in the here and now, and use some novel problem solving techniques to both uncover the pinch points that prevent more co-ops forming, and get creative with the ideas that can help un-block those pinch points.

You’re welcome to join us in February!
We think the conference will work best when we’ve got a wide variety of participants, so please join us wherever you fit into the world of co-ops, mutuals and social business. Whether you’ve enjoyed Future Co-ops conferences in the past, or whether you’ve never heard of it before, you can be sure of a warm welcome, great networking, and stimulating ideas, shared with others who are passionate about the co-op solution to all things.


Click here to see the full programme.

Who should attend?

Post Carbon Co-ops - Future Co-ops Conference

• Social change campaigners
• Members of co-operatives
• Co-operative development workers
• Worker co-op members
• Local authority officers and councillors
• Business support professionals
• Anyone with a concern for the development of co-operatives, CICs and social enterprises
• Academics

Find out what people have said about Future Co-ops events here.

Our Venue – Hillscourt Hotel & Venue Birmingham

Hillscourt Hotel & Venue BirminghamHillscourt Hotel & Venue BirminghamHillscourt Conference Centre – owned and managed by the National Association of School Masters and Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) – provides fully equipped meeting rooms, creating an ideal setting for Future Co-ops 2019.

All Future Co-ops delegates have access to free Wi-Fi and the venue prides itself on its home cooked food and warm welcome. Free on-site parking.

Bookings have now closed!

Please note: Prices quoted are per person in a single room. Please let us know if you need accessible accommodation.

  1. Friday night, Saturday night and Saturday day – Single room £360
  2. Friday night and Saturday day – Single room £250
  3. Saturday day and Saturday night – Single room £250
  4. Saturday day only – £100

Optional dinner on Friday or Saturday night (for non-residents) is £30 per meal.

All delegate room rates include Dinner, Saturday lunch and Bed & Breakfast in a single room.

Saturday day options include conference attendance, lunch, teas and coffee.


 Any questions?

If you have any questions about the conference, require an accessible room or for more details, please get in touch on 01452 543030 or complete our contact form here.

Our partners

Future Co-ops 2019 – Can co-operative deserts bloom? is proud to be partnering with:

Central England Co-operative


Think:Digital co-op