Leading thinkers and practitioners in social entrepreneurship add diverse voices to conference

Leading thinkers and practitioners from universities in the field of co-operativism, business through the lense of human rights, enterprise incubators in the solidarity economy and innovation in the public sector will be presenting key notes at the international conference called ‘Universities developing social entrepreneurship through cross-sector collaboration’ 1-3 Sept, 2015 in York, UK.  The conference aims to develop and share knowledge about how private, public and social sectors can collaborate to promote entrepreneurial thinking and practice in universities for social purpose.

Dr Rory Ridley-Duff is leading new thinking around models of co-operativism and is co-founder of the Fair Shares Association. His book ‘Understanding Social Enterprise: Theory and Practice is being used by educators and practitioners in four continents.

Dr Saioa Arando is the research co-ordinator of Mondragon Innovation Knowledge, part of the Mondragon Cooperative Group, the largest cooperative in the world and based in the Basque Country in Spain. She has won an award for her work on the economics of participation.

Professor Hiroshi Ishida is working with companies in Japan on sustainability, and approaches his work from the perspective of human rights.

Dr Antonio Cruz has many years of experience in the leadership of enterprise incubators within the ‘solidarity’ economy in Brazil. He has co-ordinated the Brazilian network of university incubators. He takes a critical stance on the involvement of the private sector.

Tim Curtis is an internationally renowned author in the field of social enterprise and social innovation. His focus is on the theory and practice of community organising.

The conference also has an international advisory committee of leaders in the field from Europe and North and South America who will evaluate submitted abstracts. See more about the keynote speakers and the advisory committee.

The conference will be held at York St John University in the historic city of York, UK, 1st -3rd Sept 2015. Registration for the conference is open. Information about submitting abstracts for posters and presentations can also be found on the conference web page.

Co-operative wins Financial Times ‘Boldness in Business’ Award

Mondragon Corporation, which includes our partner in the Social Economy project, Mondragon University, has won the Financial Times Boldness in Business award for ‘Drivers of Change‘. Mondragon uses democratic methods in its business organisation, the creation of jobs, the human and professional development of its workers and a pledge to development with its social environment. Leo Johnson from the Financial Times reports that its record “quietly refutes the conventional wisdom that to be co-operative is to be uncompetitive”. It  is one of the 10 largest companies in Spain. Employing 83,000 workers worldwide, it is the largest co-operative in the world.

Its business philosophy is contained in its corporate values:

  • Co-operation.
  • Participation.
  • Social Responsibility.
  • Innovation.

Mondragon University is closely linked to the labour market, and tailors its offer of courses according to the needs of enterprises and organizations needs.