Co-operatives: Can Do, Will Do, Must Do. A seminar on the future of the co-operative movement.

Co-operatives: Can Do, Will Do, Must Do

2017 Network Dinner and a Seminar

22nd & 23rd November 2017

Co-operatives are people with a can-do attitude, determined to make a difference and get things done. In the face of the growing complexity of our geographies, politics and trading environments, co-operatives must continue to do business in a co-operative way to ensure that we “create a world of dignity and opportunity for all”.

Thank you to all delegates, speakers and supporters of our two-days events! In particular thank you to our sponsors the Building Change Trust and the Co-operative Group.

Watch the Seminar videos and get an insight into the important role that the Co-operative Movement plays in Northern Ireland.

An excerpt from a broadcast by Northern Visions TV featuring co-operatives exhibiting at the “Co-operatives: Can-do, Will-Do, Must-do” seminar. The broadcast was shown on Northern Visions TV on the 28th November.

A video prepared by Co-operative Alternatives about co-operative development in Northern Ireland.

Click here for Seminar Programme Final

Speakers & Presentations

Ed Mayo Key Speaker – Ed Mayo
General Secretary of Co-operatives UKEd Mayo, General Secretary of Co-operatives UK was our key speaker at this event.Ed said: “There are changes coming in Northern Ireland that make it vital that co-operatives and their partners have their voice heard in terms of Economic Development to meet the needs of the sector.
“Northern Ireland ranks high in terms of co-operative values. Whenever you have co-ops working and generating economic value to a region it drives greater equality and participation and is a model of an inclusive economy.
 Keith Forster
Senior Strategic Policy Officer at the Department for the Economy NI.Keith Forster said that “Co-ops would have an important role to play in Northern Ireland’s economic future:
Inclusivity and encouraging collaboration is a prominent feature of our Industrial Strategy. We need to broaden our approach. We need companies to invest in Research and Development. I think it will require significant collaboration and co-operation to drive economic growth across the whole of Northern Ireland.”Keith Forster’s presentation DfE presentation – Co-operatives event
 Leah Thompson
Economic Development Officer at the Belfast City Council
Leah Thompson, Belfast City Council Economic Development Officer, said the social enterprise and co-operative sectors will play an important role in the city plans to create jobs and improve living standards within the city.
“Increasing the number of co-ops can help address social issues, increase quality of life and create sustainable employment,” she added.
Leah Thompson’s presentation


Presentations from local co-operatives

Drumlin Wind Energy Co-operative

Anne Ford, Chair

Drumlin Presentation 23 Nov 2017 

Creative Workers Co-operative

Clem Bradley, Founder Member

 Co-Housing Northern Ireland

Joanna McMinn, Founder Member

Raglan Community Development Renovation Society

William Millar, Secretary

   Loveworks Workers Co-operative

Richard Higginson, Founder Member


If you have any questions, please contact us on

Do you remember last year’s event “This is what a co-operative looks like” in Stormont?
If not, you can get a quick overview in this podcast prepared by Northern Vision TV.