Leeds Festival of Economics, Democracy and the Workplace

09:30 - 17:30
Horizon Leeds
Who can attend:
This event is open to students, practitioners, academics, and the general public

Leeds University Business School and the WPART Project would like to invite you to the Leeds Festival of Economics, Democracy and the Workplace.

The Festival will bring together leading academic scholars, researchers, practitioners, students, and members of the general public interested in workplace democracy in its different forms such as employee-owned firms, employee representation and collective bargaining, employee directors and codetermination, etc. The aim of the event is to foster collaboration and dialogue between academics, practitioners and the policy community in relation to workplace democracy, employee participation, and emerging organisational models.

The Festival will comprise a range of activities with different formats adapted to different audiences, including keynote presentations and panel discussions focused on the prospects of employee participation in firm ownership and decisions in the UK and worldwide.

The event is part of the Business School's Ideas in Practice seminar series and organised by the WPART Project (a two-year research project funded by a European Commission Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship).

Register here

Event format

09:30 Registration and refreshments
09:45 Welcome and introduction
10:00 Keynote presentation with Q&A and discussion: John Pencavel (Stanford University): “What we know and would like to know about worker cooperatives”
11:00 Coffee break
11:15 Employee representation in Europe: main findings and policy lessons from the WPART project: Gabriel Burdin and Virginie Pérotin (Leeds University Business School)
12:00 Networking lunch
13:00 Panel discussion: "Can employees run businesses?" Gill Brennan (IPSA), David Erdal (University of St Andrews), Fred Freundlich (Mondragon University), Derek Jones (Hamilton College), Gabbi Stopp (ProShare). Moderator: Virginie Pérotin (Leeds University Business School)
14:15 Coffee break
14:30 Keynote presentation with Q&A and discussion: Samuel Bowles (Santa Fe Institute): “The end of liberalism”
15:30 Coffee break
15:45 Panel discussion: "Employees’ right to information, consultation and participation in post-Brexit UK" Duncan Adam (University of Warwick), Bill Adams (TUC), Allie Renison (Institute of Directors), Desiree Wilburn (GMB Union), Fiona Williams (ACAS). Moderator: Saul Estrin (LSE)
17:00 Event close
Keynote speakers and panel members

Prof. Samuel Bowles, Director of the Behavioural Sciences Program, Santa Fe Institute

Prof. John Pencavel, Stanford University

Bill Adams, Regional Secretary for the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the Yorkshire and The Humber region

Gill Brennan, CEO of Irish Proshare Association (IPSA)

Gabriel Burdin, University of Leeds

David Erdal, University of St. Andrews  

Prof. Saul Estrin, Head of the Department of Management, London School of Economics and Political Science

Prof. Virginie Pérotin, University of Leeds

Allie Renison, Regional Director for the Institute of Directors North East

Desiree Wilburn, Senior Organiser, GMB Trade Union, Yorkshire & North Derbyshire Region

Fiona Williams, North West Area Director for the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS)

Duncan Adam, University of Warwick

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