On the 1 July we hosted our second Scale-Up Session, working with Kasper De Graaf from Design Manchester and special guest Rose Marley, CEO of Co-op UK.

She was also joined by a panel of guests which included;

· Steven Flower, co-founder, Open Data Services Co-operative

· Marianne Heaslip, architect and associate principal at Urbed

· Rich Mason, founder/CEO of Wings – ethical food deliverers taking on Deliveroo and UberEats

· Alex King, journalist, The Meteor independent media co-operative

The idea of the session was to discuss if people had thought about turning their business into a co-operative, as well as discussing how co-operatives can be more resilient, both as fledgling organisations and in times of economic crisis. The Co-op Economy 2021 report reveals that co-ops were four times less likely to cease trading in 2020 than businesses generally, despite the global pandemic. And the sector grew by £1.1 billion last year.

It was also part of the Co-Op Fortnight celebrations which runs until 5 July.

Rose opened the night by discussing how she thinks our lives are changing so much, seeing the rise of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, 5G and much more. She believes working with ethical businesses and practicing sustainability that Co-Op’s can redeem mankind. Rose mentioned a quote that they live by and it meets their values, it’s “The only thing that can redeem mankind is co-operation” said by Bertrand Russell.

The future of co-ops…embracing the advancement of technology

The discussion moved on to the laws of power and how there are seven principles that define how the Co-Op operates. (image below)

The event was lively, educational and fun with some great contributions from both the panellists and audience.

If you missed the first Scale Up Session, ‘Pandemic Stations’ you can catch it here:


and this session will be uploaded very soon, plus upcoming Scale Up Sessions with Design Manchester will be advertised on our Eventbrite page: