Expert in writing constitutions for co-operative, mutual, and member-based organisations, and designer of new ownership and governance structures.
I work as a consultant in the social business team supporting those seeking to set up new ventures trading for a social purpose; advising existing organisations on the transition from private investor-ownership or public ownership into democratic, member-based arrangements; and seeking to redesign structures so that they better support a collaborative and co-productive approach involving users, workers and citizens.
I have spent more than 20 years working with the UK co-operative movement, at all levels. For most of that time, I have been involved in the modernisation of public services based on democratic, member-based governance. I have worked in a range of sectors including retail, health, social housing, education and youth services, and have undertaken a range of governance reviews for organisations exploring transformation.
Behind the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act, there is an implicit admission: we haven’t been taking sufficient account of the interests of future generations.
We've partnered with Co-operative Energy and the Phone Co-op for Greenbelt 2017 to host a brand new venue and programme called The Exchange.
Fundamentally, it’s an economy operating for the common good, rather than for private benefit. People might previously have thought that that’s what we already had, though recent events have made it clear that we don’t.
It can be done from the bottom up, as new businesses are set up; and it can emerge through transformation of existing private businesses, many of which already recognise the strong social benefit of trading but don’t yet self-identify or promote themselves as social businesses.
This clever trading arrangement only worked because of another less well-known feature: the funding of the business by members. Co-operative retailing could not start until impoverished individuals had saved sufficient capital to commence trading.
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