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Introducing #coopedconf keynote speakers

Dr Linda Shaw and Karen Miner have been announced as keynote speakers for the Co-operative College’s Co-operative Education Conference, which will take place in Manchester on 21 and 22 April.

Dr Linda Shaw

Dr Linda ShawCo-operative education expert Dr Linda Shaw will be keynote speaker for day one of the conference, which will take place at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Linda retired from the Co-operative College in 2015, after reaching the position of Vice Principal: Co-operative Education and Research. During her 14 years working for the Co-operative College, Linda oversaw the reinvention of the College as a centre for co-operative research. She also rebuilt the College’s links with the international co-operative movement.

Linda is a historian by training and her working background is in adult education and international development. Her PhD, from the University of East Anglia, explored poverty and poor relief in nineteenth century Norwich. Linda’s interest in international development stems from living in India for four years when her children were young; she went on to teach international development at the Open University.

Building the College’s research profile to help provide an evidence base for co-operatives was a major focus of Linda’s work at the College, as previously there was very little research into the effectiveness of the model. Linda’s work also included supporting early career researchers, including co-supervising three PhD students on behalf of the College.

Linda was closely involved in the ‘Mainstreaming Co-operation’ conference held in Manchester and Rochdale in July 2012, co-editing a book of papers from the conference, as well as the ‘Perspectives in Co-operative Education’ conference held at the People’s History Museum in Manchester in December 2015.

Dr Sarah Alldred, the College’s Lead on International Programmes and Research, commented: “Linda brought a research culture to the College, along with her expertise and passion for co-operatives in the developing world context. She created a strong reputation for the College as a go-to place for information about international co-operative development and research, which we continue to build on.”

She added: “Linda has a strong reputation and is widely respected. By inviting her to be keynote speaker at our inaugural research conference we are acknowledging her significant contribution to the co-operative movement and the College.”

Karen Miner

Karen MinerKaren Miner from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, will be keynote speaker on day two of the conference. Karen is passionate about co-operatives, having become interested in them through Fairtrade coffee in the mid-1990s. She has expertise around governance, strategy, business management and sustainability within co-operatives, not-for-profit organisations and government.

Karen has been Managing Director, Co-operative Management Education at Saint Mary’s since 2012, and works with co-operators from around the world. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Mountain Equipment Co-op, the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Canadian Co-operative Association, and on advisory panels for the Co-operators and Vancity. In 2013, she organised the International Co-operative Governance Symposium at Saint Mary’s University.

Dr Sarah Alldred commented: “Canada’s co-operative movement has a reputation for its strength and diversity. We are looking forward to Karen’s insights around trends and issues in management education for co-operatives. The College has a strong international reputation, and we are placing co-operative education in an international context.”

For more information, and to register, visit www.co-op.ac.uk/coopedconf.

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