2022 is with us and here at the Robert Owen Society we extend to all of you best wishes for a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year.As we say in Wales  Blwyddyn Newydd Dda. It has been a challenging year and one we will all look back on with a mixture of feelings. However, we must learn from the lessons of the past and move on and build for a co-operative future.

2022 heralds the 30th anniversary of  the Marches Consortium, the first co-operative in the Robert Owen Group. The bravery, vision and commitment of the early pioneer headteachers and principals are something that I will always carry with me. They facilitated so much innovation and inward investment of more than £40m for Herefordshire and the surrounding areas either side of Offa’s Dyke.

The first Robert Owen Annual Lecture in early summer 2021 put down a marker as we involved co-operators from all corners of the globe. Many of our brothers and sisters felt inspired by the key note papers and resulting discussions and have already made changes in their communities. One tangible local outcome has been the valuable work currently under way in the South Wye area of Hereford City. This early work has led us to consider that developing and maintaining Sustainable Co-operative Communities will be a significant focus for the Robert Owen Society in 2022.

One of the first tasks of building a sustainable community is to have some notion of the pillars that create and maintain sustainability. The Institute for Sustainable Communities suggests four such pillars :

  • Leadership, civic engagement and responsibility
  • Ecological Integrity
  • Economic Security
  • Social well-being.

Now clearly each pillar will hold up a series of areas of human behaviour and activity. Throughout the world there seems to be a consensus that these are :

  • Access to clean air & water
  • Economic opportunities
  • A safe and healthy place to raise children
  • Shelter
  • Lifelong learning
  • The ability to have a say in the decisions that affect our lives.

So folks let’s hear what you think. Let us have your comments and ideas so that we can build in 2022 a Robert Owen Society template for sustainable co-operative communities. Don’t delay respond today!

You can reach us via our website at www.marcheshive.org or via Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.

Facebook – @marcheshive

Linkedin – The Marches Hive

Twitter – @HiveMarches

Please link to us, like us or friend us and share our sites with your friends, colleagues and families. We have so much to do together!

All best wishes,

Chris Morgan

Secretary and President of  the Robert Owen  Society

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