Address: European Cooperative House
Avenue Milcamps 105, 1030 Brussels, Belgium
Telephone: +32 2 543 1033
Email: cecop@cecop.coop

CECOP 40th Anniversary and General Assembly 20-22 June 2019 | Manchester, UK

VENUE: Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel, Portland Street, M1 4PH, Manchester, United Kingdom


Thursday 20 June

14:00 Visit to Co-operatives UK and worker cooperative SUMA.

20:00 Dinner at The Eighth Day Café, restaurant managed by a worker cooperative

Friday 21 June I 9:30 – 12:30: CECOP 40th anniversary session
Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel
Room Park Suite
(interpretation in English French Italian Spanish)

9:30 Welcome address by Sion Whellens, Vice-President of CECOP & Giuseppe Guerini, President of CECOP

9:45 Panel 1: CECOP key development from 1979 to 2019

moderated by Diana Dovgan, Secretary General of CECOP

  • Rainer Schlüter, Secretary General of CECOP from 1985 to 2004
  • Felice Scalvini, President of CECOP from 1996 to 2010
  • Janusz Paszkowski – President of NAUWC (PL), Vice-President of CECOP


10:30 – 11:00 Refreshment break

11:00 CECOP network today: state of play and main tendencies by Diana Dovgan, Secretary General of CECOP

11:15 Panel 2: Major transformations shaping the (near) future of cooperatives in industry and services

moderated by Diego Dutto, Director of Legacoop Sociali (IT), Vice-President of CECOP

Keynote speech by Liina Carr, Confederal Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation: transformations in the world of work and the rise of new forms of employment

  • Juan Antonio Pedreno, President of Social Economy Europe
  • Fabrizio Bolzoni, Director of Legacoop Produzione e Servizi (IT) (tbc)
  • Paloma Arroyo, Director of COCETA (ES)

12:20 Closing remarks by Giuseppe Guerini, President of CECOP

Friday 21 June I 13:30 – 16:00: Statutory General Assembly


Saturday 22 June I 9:30 – 12:30: Democratic innovation in industrial and service cooperatives

Session organized by CECOP and UK Worker Coops Council
Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel
Room Park Suite
(interpretation in English French Italian Spanish)

9:30 Welcome and introduction by Diana Dovgan, Secretary General of CECOP and Sion Whellens, Worker Coop Council (UK), Vice-President of CECOP

9:40 Panel 1: Governance innovation in worker, social and multi stakeholder cooperatives

  • Abbie Kempson, Unicorn Grocery workers cooperative (UK): Introducing sociocracy, and how we are applying it
  • Bob Cannell, Cooperative Business Consultants (UK): People theory vs system theory: new thinking about management in cooperatives
  • Giuseppe Guerini, Confcooperative – Federsolidarieta (IT), President of CECOP: The emergence of the social cooperatives in Italy and the multi stakeholder governance


10:30 – 11:00 Refreshment break 

11:00 Panel 2: The challenge of democratic ownership for self-employed and freelance workers

  • Anne-Laure Desgris, Smart (BE): The governance and ownership challenge for “atomized” workers
  • Pat Conaty , Fellow, New Economics Foundation (UK): “Not Alone”: how the cooperative and union movements can organise precarious workers 


11.30 Panel 3: Democratic ownership of technology and information

  • Colm Massey, Solidarity Economy Association (UK): How Linked Open Data can support solidarity economy network building and emergence locally and regionally
  • Shaun Fensom, Cooperative Network Infrastructure (UK) / Graham Mitchell, MC3 (UK): Can we take on the tech giants? Cooperative cloud services, fibre and 5G infrastructure

Plenary Q&A

12:15 Closing remarks: Diana Dovgan, Secretary General of CECOP


The meetings are held in English. An interpretation will be provided for French, Italian and Spanish for the meetings on Friday and on Saturday. Please notice that interpretation will not be provided for the visits.

Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel Venue of the event)
Motel One Manchester
Ibis styles Portland Street
Premier Inn Manchester Central

Manchester Airport is approx. 16 km from Manchester City Centre. Driving takes approximately 45 minutes depending on traffic.
A taxi from Manchester Airport to Manchester City Centre costs around £30 one way: http://streetcarsmanchester.co.uk/
Alternatively, you can take a train from Manchester Airport to Manchester Piccadilly Station in around 20 minutes and costs around £5 per person one way: https://www.thetrainline.com/


This event is organised in the context of Cooperatives UK Congress which will take place in the same venue. More information here.
On Friday 21 June, Cooperatives UK organises an awards dinner. To participate, you can book at a discounted participation price (£50 + VAT) here and select the option “Friday (Awards Dinner Only)”.

Did you know?

Near to Manchester there is a town called Rochdale where the first very cooperative was created in 1844.
Today the same building is hosting the Rochdale Pioneers Museum. If we are a considerable number we can organise an informal visit to the museum on Saturday afternoon. Interested to join? Please write to francesca.zaganelli@cecop.coop. Entrance to the museum and transport costs are at participants own expenses.

Our thanks to

The event is organised in collaboration with Cooperative UK and sponsored by Delta - T Devices, Infinity Foods, Suma and Unicorn and the UK Solidarity Fund.