Originally founded in 1967, the Society has a rich history of involvement with and deep roots in the co-operative movement and co-operative studies both in the UK and internationally. At the inaugural meeting on 2 and 4 April at the Co-operative College, Stanford Hall, the Society for Co-operative Studies was established 'to promote the exchange of information and experience on co-operative studies and research and to help in identifying and developing the studies and research still needed'.
The message received from the Rt.Hon. C.A.R. Crosland published in the first Society for Co-operative Studies Bulletin is no less significant to the aims and purpose of UKSCS today:
[The Society] can bring together representatives from all areas of co-operative interest and many individuals, particularly from universities and colleges, interested in co-operative institutions and policies. The Movement can greatly gain from exposing itself to this kind of sympathetic and salutary study; and universities and colleges too can gain from this engagement with an organisation of considerable economic and social significance in our times.
On 18 October 1995, the Society registered with the Charity Commission as a charity (registration number 1049961). This charity was removed and replaced as we incorporated as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation on 27 October 2017.
Our aims remain consistent with the original intentions for the Society. We aim to provide an independent voluntary space where members will facilitate and share critical practice and engaged research on co-operatives & co-operation.
Our charitable objects set out in our constitution are:
To advance the education of the public concerning all aspects of the co-operative movement, and co-operative forms of structure, and in particular to assist, commission and/or identify, and to publish research into the aforementioned areas and to promote the exchange of information and experience on co-operative studies and research.
Our main activities include production of the Journal of Co-operative Studies, supporting study networks, organising seminars and online conversations, and hosting a conference.