Based in the Cardiff School of Management at Cardiff Metropolitan University (formerly UWIC) Cardiff Institute for Co-operative Studies (CICS) was a research unit dedicated to co-operatives with a worldwide reputation.
Formed initially in 2002 from a conversation between myself and the founding Director, Dr Len Arthur, it continued to go from strength to strength under the direction of Molly Scott-Cato until she moved to the University of Roehampton in 2011. It continued for a while under the directorship of Russell Smith, but is now inactive.
The Institute was the first Wales-based research centre working to focus primarily on exploring and developing knowledge about co-operatives, credit unions, mutuals and member-based organisations in the region, and for the whole of its existence I chaired the Advisory Board, as well as collaborating on some the research projects.
It comprised academic and research staff within the school, together with a broader network of practitioners and academics from across Wales and the UK and is part of various international networks of academics who are engaged in complementary work. Through collaborations and networks, members of the Institute are actively involved in the promotion and development of the co-operative organisations and applied research through umbrella organisations such as the UK Society for Co-operative Studies, Co-operatives UK and Co-operatives and Mutuals Wales.
Key areas of expertise included critical management, applied economics, regeneration policy and practice, social, environmental and economic aspects of sustainability, quantitative and qualitative methods of social research, and practical experience of developing and supporting a wide range of Co-operatives, Mutuals, Credit Unions and other Social Enterprises in a variety of settings.
Its webpage lives on at:-