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  • Saturday 10 OctoberSat 10 Oct
  • Sunday 11 OctoberSun 11 Oct
  • Monday 12 – Friday 16 OctoberMon 12 – Fri 16 Oct
  • Saturday 17 OctoberSat 17 Oct
Welcome by Joe Fortune, General Secretary of the Co-operative Party
In conversation with Keir Starmer MP
Join Labour Party Leader Keir Starmer for a wide-ranging "in conversation" event with Preet Gill MP, Vice-Chair of the Co-operative Party Parliamentary Group, and also Rebecca Harvey, Editor of Co-op News.
Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds MP
Introduced by Ruth Hall, the newly-elected Vice Chair of the Co-operative Party NEC.
Address by Jim McMahon MP, Chair of the Co-operative Party NEC
Co-operatives through Covid
Meet the co-operators innovating on the ground through this crisis. From emergency food to cycle co-ops, the last few months have shown that, whatever the challenges we face, there are co-operative solutions ready to lead the way.
  • Cllr Eve Holt: During lockdown, Eve has worked with the Unicorn Co-op to deliver groceries and other essentials by bike to people who were self-isolating or shielding.
  • Cllr Joanna West: Joanna helped to develop a partnership between the council and the Central England Co-op, to get food to people unable to leave the house.
  • Heather Powell: Heather is a member of the North Wales Music Co-op, who have launched an online service through lockdown so that pupils were able to learn from home while schools were closed.
  • Cllr Nick Small: Nick set up a partnership between the council and a cycling co-op, Peloton, to provide free home deliveries on cargo bikes.
  • Paul O’Hara: Drive, a taxi co-op in Cardiff, have offered discounted rides to NHS and other key workers, and free deliveries for grocery shopping for vulnerable customers.
  • Laura Newlands: Laura is a member pioneer for the Co-op Group in Beith and Kilbirnie. During Lockdown she has been busy organising volunteers to make face masks for stores and communities around Ayrshire
  • Martyn Holmes: Martyn co-founded Bunker Housing Co-op with others in Brighton looking for more affordable, sustainable homes – and completed their firs two wooden eco homes during lockdown.
Owning The Future: Ideas for a More Equal Recovery

As we emerge from lockdown, faced with our worst recession on record and a looming second wave, we are at a crossroads. We can return to the unequal economy that characterised pre-Covid Britain, or we can create something better. The last few months have shown that we can respond to crisis with kindness, and communities – not corporations – have led the way.

This panel brings together thinkers and policy makers to consider how we can regrow the economy and rewrite the rules governing it to create something fairer which reflects our co-operative values and principles.


  • Dr Wanda Wyporska, The Equality Trust
  • Professor Andres Velasco, Dean of School of Public Policy, LSE
  • Anna Birley, Policy Officer, Co-operative Party
  • Luke Murphy, Head of the Environmental Justice Commission and Associate Director for the Energy, Climate, Housing and Infrastructure Team
  • Chair: Nick Crofts, President of the Co-op Group National Members Council and Labour & Co-op councillor in Liverpool
Cancelled: Mayor Andy Burnham
Labour & Co-operative Mayor of Greater Manchester
Awards and Quiz
Sit back, relax and meet with your fellow co-operators for our conference social! We'll be giving out our annual awards to outstanding co-operators, followed by our big Co-operative Quiz! Join our own Emma Hoddinott and quizmaster Ian Murray MP and show off your smarts to win a prize.


  • Ian Murray MP
  • Cllr Emma Hoddinott
Policy Debate
Making Business Work for the Common Good
The culmination of our 2020 policy process, we'll be discussing the ideas proposed in our 2020 policy paper (read it here) about corporate governance and making business work for the common good. Members are welcome to directly contribute to the debate if they wish, but anyone can tune in to watch this lively discussion!
West Midlands Co-operative Task Force Launch
Join us for the launch of the report from the West Midlands Co-operative Taskforce, which has been exploring what kind of co-operative future we could build in the West Midlands ahead of the Metro Mayoral elections next year.
  • Liam Byrne MP, Labour & Co-operative Candidate for West Midlands Mayor
Policy Debate
Connecting communities: from buses to broadband
The culmination of our 2020 policy process, we'll be discussion the ideas proposed in our 2020 policy paper (read it here) about the physical and virtual infrastructure. Members are welcome to directly contribute to the debate if they wish, but anyone can tune in to watch this lively discussion!
Campaigning against retail crime
Join us for a quick campaigning session on protecting shopworkers, as our General Secretary Joe Fortune talks to our current #NotPartOfTheJob campaign and what you can do to end retail crime.
  • Joe Fortune, General Secretary, Co-op Party
Campaigning for Food Justice
Join us for a quick campaigning session on Food Justice, as we preview our new online tool to help you take direct action to combat food poverty in your area.
  • Emma Hoddinott, Local Government Officer, Co-op Party
Campaigning to protect community spaces
Join us to hear more about our Love It? List It! campaign on how to protect the community spaces like parks, pubs and post offices you love by listing them as Assets of Community Value. We'll talk you through how you can identify, list and even work towards owning the community assets you love.
  • James Butler, Campaigns Officer, Co-op Party
Monday 12 October
Lunchtime Session
Common decency
Far from being a great equalizer, Covid-19 has exacerbated inequalities. From food on our table and access to basic financial services to a decent wage for a decent day’s work, the things many of us take for granted seem further away than ever for millions. This session will hear from those at the forefront of change in their communities as well as the latest policy thinking on food justice, financial resilience, decent work and a real living wage.
  • Chair: Kate Dearden, Community
  • Karen Hurst, ABCUL
  • Cllr Kirsteen Sullivan
  • Peter Kelly, Poverty Alliance
Evening Session
Network Discussion
Co-operating for gender equality: how co-ops can drive female economic empowerment
Hosted by our member-led Co-operative Party Women's Network.
  • Chair: Ria Bernard
  • Seema Malhotra MP
  • Rebecca Harvey, Co-op News
Tuesday 13 October
Lunchtime Session
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
Jobs should lead our plans for economic recovery, but with a focus on quality as well as quantity – higher wages, job security, and a say and a stake in the workplace. Learning from Italy’s Marcora Law, this panel will explore how employee ownership can and should be at the heart of a fairer economic recovery.
  • Chair: Meg Hillier MP
  • Brando Benifei MEP
  • Deb Oxley, Employee Ownership Assocation
  • James Kelly MSP
Evening Session
Network Discussion
A fairer environment: co-operation and climate change
Hosted by our member-led Co-operative Party Youth Network.
  • Chair: Marian Craig, Co-chair of Youth Committee
  • Luke Pollard MP
  • Dr Afsheen Rashid MBE
  • Ishaa Asim
Wednesday 14 October
Lunchtime Session
Network Discussion
Impact of Covid-19 crisis on disabled community
Hosted by our member-led Co-operative Party (Dis)ability Network.
  • Chair: Cheryl Barrott
  • Vicky Foxcroft MP
  • Valerie Bossman-Quarshie
  • Fazilet Hadi, Disability Rights UK
  • Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Chair, RNIB
Evening Session
The co-operative movement’s role through a second wave
As the country braces for a second wave, and many neighbourhoods are already in local lockdowns, the co-operative movement is poised to step up again. Just as co-operatives demonstrated our values through the first lockdown, helping to prevent hunger, support young people with learning from home, create new jobs, connect communities and tackle loneliness, this session will hear from the movement on their role in the months to come.
  • Chair: Baroness Glenys Thornton
  • Paul Gerrard, Campaigns & Public Affairs Director, The Co-op
  • Karen Creavin, The Active Wellbeing Society
  • Jo White, Executive Director Co-op Futures
  • Stella Creasy MP
Thursday 15 October
Lunchtime Session
Don’t moan, organise! Community-led high street revival
High streets are the beating hearts of our communities – but their decline is accelerating. Covid-19 and the threat of further lockdowns leaves much of the retail sector with an uncertain prognosis. But as panelists in this session demonstrate, the power to protect and revive our high streets and town centres is in our hands.
  • Chair: James Murray MP
  • Chris Clarke, Hope Not Hate
  • Hazel Tilley, Granby 4 Streets CLT
  • Colin Smyth, MSP for South Scotland and member of the Midsteeple Quarter
Evening Session
Changemaking during Covid
There is a pressing need for change – but the ways in which we usually organise and campaign, from rallies to doorknocking, are no longer possible. But the last few months have shown us that we respond to crisis with co-operation, with communities across the countries coming together to help their neighbours or challenge injustice. This session will look at how we adapt and make change happen in different ways, learning from mutual aid groups, Black Lives Matter and a community kitchen.
  • Chair: Florence Eshalomi MP
  • Cllr Kemi Akinola, CEO Be Enriched and MD Brixton People's Kitchen
  • Andrew Ogun, BLM Gwent
  • David Howard, Howden Helpers Mutual Aid Group
Friday 16 October
Lunchtime Session
Network Discussion
BAME Communities and the Potential for Deepening Co-operation
Hosted by our member-led Co-operative Party BAME Network.
  • Chair: Dr Gregory Roberts
  • Chrissy Meleady, Equalities and Human Rights UK
  • Cllr Rupinder Singh
  • Cllr Sanchia Alasia
Co-operative Party Ltd Annual General Meeting
The last day of our conference will feature our Annual General Meeting (AGM), where our members meet to vote on crucial business for the year ahead. This event is open to Co-operative Party members only.
Network Discussion
More than a night at the pub: protecting LGBTQ+ venues after Covid
Hosted by our member-led Co-operative Party LGBT+ Co-operators. Finish off conference with a virtual trip to the pub with our LGBT Network, who will be talking about how vital LGBT+ friendly venues are to their community and what we can do to secure their future.
  • Chair: Cllr Chris Penberthy
  • Tracy Brabin MP
  • James Lindsay, Royal Vauxhall Tavern
All times are subject to change.

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About Owning The Future

Join us from 10th-17th October for our first ever online conference

With a range of exciting keynote speakers, panel debates, workshops and more, we're excited to bring you Owning the Future – our first ever online conference.

We'll be bringing together co-operators from all over the world to show how we can emerge from this turbulent year with a new normal, where you can own your workplace, own your community and own the future.

Do I need to be a member of the Co-operative Party to attend the Owning the Future conference?

No! The main days of the Owning the Future conference are welcome to all, and you do not need to be a member to take part.

The only exception is our Annual General Meeting on Saturday 17th October, which is open only to Co-operative Party members.

How much does it cost to attend?

Our online conference is free for everyone! However if you would like to make a donation to the costs of running our online conference, you can do so here.

How do I attend the conference? Where is it?

Owning The Future will be taking place online so you can join us from the comfort of your own home. You can watch on or on YouTube or Facebook. Need help figuring out how to watch, ask questions or otherwise take part? See our help guide.

Will Owning the Future be accessible?

The conference will be live-captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing participants. If you have any other accessibility needs, please contact and we will do our best to accommodate.

Promoted by Joe Fortune on behalf of the Co-operative Party, both at Unit 13, 83 Crampton Street, London, SE17 3BQ, United Kingdom.
Co-operative Party Limited is a registered Society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014. Registered no. 30027R