Just before Labor Day, employee ownership thought leaders from around the world convened at the historic Oxford University in the United Kingdom for the annual Oxford Symposium on Employee Ownership. For the second consecutive year, the Employee Ownership Foundation was proud to be a main sponsor of this important gathering to explore obstacles and opportunities for growing employee ownership worldwide. The overarching purpose of the Symposium is to develop ideas and policies for advancing the cause of employee ownership on a global scale.
This year’s event drew more than 80 attendees and organizations from more than 20 countries spanning six continents (sorry, Antarctica!) including elected officials, academics, NGOs, business leaders, national employee ownership associations like TEA, and senior U.S. congressional staff from key committees of jurisdiction over ESOPs. In addition to the Employee Ownership Employee Ownership Foundation Once Again a Main Sponsor of Oxford Symposium on Employee Ownership Foundation, the other sponsors of the Oxford Symposium were the Center on Business and Poverty, based in the U.K. and which works to expand participatory capitalism, and Fieldfisher, a European law firm with extensive experience in employee ownership.
Symposium attendees were honored to be joined by Oxford University Pro-Vice-Chancellor and President of Oxford’s Kellogg College Jonathan Michie, who delivered the opening remarks at the event. Over the course of two days, the Symposium covered myriad topics addressing critical themes and topics surrounding employee ownership internationally, including: taxation and regulatory issues; increased international collaboration between national employee ownership bodies; how and why governments should support employee ownership; and the best uses of profits in 100% employee-owned companies. One particularly interesting session was “Around the World of Employee Ownership in 80 Minutes,” that explored employee ownership worldwide. The Symposium drew outstanding feedback from this year’s attendees, who praised the Symposium’s outstanding planning, programming, and curation and were very grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with a diverse group of thought leaders.
The Employee Ownership Foundation would like to express its gratitude to those who participated as speakers or panelists at this year’s Oxford Symposium, including EOF Chair Dave Fitz-Gerald and EOF Board of Trustees members Daniel Goldstein and Cindy Turcot. In addition, Rick Pearl from Faegre Drinker, Regina Carls of JP Morgan, and Ken Serwinski of Prairie Capital Advisors all presented at several sessions. The EOF would also like to acknowledge our partners, Graeme Nuttall from FieldFisher and John Hoffmire from the Center on Business and Poverty, for their tireless work in helping develop, organize, and facilitate this important gathering of global leaders in employee ownership.