Pioneer Robert Owen’s Impact: Learning Lessons for Co-operation & Education

Robert Owen portrait

FREE ONLINE EVENT: Saturday, July 2nd, 2022

Download the event programme (English, pdf) | Lawrlwythwch rhaglen y digwyddiad (Cymraeg, pdf)

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Lecture: ‘Robert Owen & co-operation’

by Prof Chris Williams with audience’s contributions to promote his ideals within our national curriculum

International Co-operators Day – online event


Saturday 2nd July 2022, 9.55  – 11.10 am

Robert Owen’s Impact: Learning lessons for Co-operation and Education

Welcome: Mick Antoniw Labour & Co-operative MS for Pontypridd, Counsel General for Wales https://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Mick Antoniw

Speaker: Professor Chris Williams, Head of College, College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, University College Cork, Cork

‘Robert Owen and co-operation’ – Among the many movements and ideas that Robert Owen inspired and influenced, co-operation has a claim to be the longest-lasting and most important. The co-operative movement in Britain pre-dated Owen but, from the 1820s, it was infused with his optimism that a better world could be organised around, as he put it, ‘principles of union and co-operation’. Such principles took many forms: communitarian experiments, producer associations, the ‘labour exchange’ movement, and ultimately, the foundation stone of British co-operation, the co-operative store. Although Owen, in this as in so many other cases, moved on rapidly to other enthusiasms after the mid-1830s, his ideas continued to function as a touchstone for co-operators for generations to come. More than a quarter of a millennium after his birth, Owen continues to offer much food for thought for twenty-first century co-operators.

Chair: Chris Hall, Chairperson Co-ops & Mutuals Wales


About David Smith

A lifelong co-operative activist. Former roles: Co-op Foundation Trustee; Co-op Group Main Board, Specialist Board & National Values & Principles Committee; Co-op Group Senate; Co-op Group Wales Regional Board, South Wales Area Committee. Public service includes Government Food Adviser; UK Healthcare Regulator. David directed the first EC funded Wales Anti-Poverty Programme; and pioneered co-operative & community initiatives: free legal services, community-based housing associations, care and repair, pre-school & adventure play, local Co-op Development Agencies, multipurpose Social Care Co-operatives. Founded: Cardiff Student Community Action, Welsh Food Alliance & Wales Progressive Co-operators. Board Member, Newport Credit Union; Robert Owen Memorial Museum Trustee. Former Lecturer, Gwent Tertiary College, Graduate Ruskin College, Oxford and UC Cardiff + PGCE, MA (European Human Resource Management) Keele; Professional Food & Management qualifications.
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