The Robert Owen Academy Annual Lecture – June 12th 2021

The Robert Owen Academy was unique and innovative in both its co-operative ownership and its curriculum offer. At the final Annual Meeting in 2018 members agreed to hold an annual lecture to encourage innovative approaches to community re-generation. Because of the Covid 19 pandemic the launch had to be delayed. Communities in the Marches now face multiple challenges caused by the pandemic, Brexit and the subsequent recession. Please join us to start the search for new approaches which will inevitably have at their centre education and training.


The Robert Owen Group is now establishing the Marches Hive and is in the process of launching a co-operative website to provide a home for new, existing and emerging co-operative and social enterprises in the Marches area either side of Offa’s Dyke. These organisations have both a micro and macro focus on solutions to local, regional, national and international challenges.

The pioneers of the Marches Hive have more than thirty years experience of significant co-operative activity in education, training and re-generation through a variety of mutual organisations owned by individual and business community members. This is in addition to many effective national and international partnerships led from the Marches.

As member owned, values led organisations co-operatives seek to offer effective support to their Marches communities. We live in unprecedented times where innovative ideas have never been more necessary if our communities and our people are to survive, prosper and offer hope for the future to our young people.

This event will be chaired by Geoff Hughes, Consultant and former Director, Herefordshire Council and led by three speakers who have a wealth of co-operative and mutual experience:

• James Alcock, CEO, The Plunkett Foundation

• Simel Esim, Head, Cooperative Department, International Labour Organisation

• Nick Matthews, Board Member, Co-operatives UK

We hope that you will join us, support our vision and mission and engage with us as we offer co-operative solutions to current and future challenges. At the conclusion of the event there will be a Q&A and discussion seeking pointers for further development.

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