The Robert Oakeshott Lecture 2018

The EOA’s annual lecture commemorates and celebrates the life, legacy, and work of its founder, and employee ownership pioneer, Robert Oakeshott.

In April 2018, 130 people gathered to hear an inspiring lecture by leading tech entrepreneur and philanthropist Dame Stephanie Shirley CH.

Dame Stephanie, who established a female-friendly software company in 1962 and broke new ground to take it into co-ownership, peaking at 65% staff control, shared her EO story and her journey as a settlor, a pioneer in concept of women going back to work after a career break and a philanthropist giving away more than £68m.

But her even bigger legacy is the business that she put into co-ownership that became worth $3bn and employing 8,500 people. After 45 years, the company (then Xansa plc) was acquired by Steria. It is now part of EOA new member Sopra Steria Group.

Post-retirement, Dame Stephanie served as the first-ever non-executive director of the John Lewis Partnership – the organisation which had originally inspired her mutuality.

We are very grateful for the generous support of international IT business Sopra Steria in delivering this year’s Robert Oakeshott Lecture.  Joining the EOA this month as our latest Trustee member, Sopra Steria is a European IT organisation and leader in the delivery of successful transformation programmes to private and public sector organisations.

We are also very grateful for the support of Cass Business School who hosted the lecture.

Click here to read our press release

Watch Dame Shirley deliver the 2018 Robert Oakeshott Lecture:

2018 Gallery:

Legacy of our founder

The EOA’s annual lecture commemorates and celebrates of the life, legacy and work of EOA founder and employee ownership pioneer Robert Oakeshott.

Each year in his memory the EOA works with Robert’s family members and invites an industry leader to deliver a lecture that is topical.

Robert, a journalist, founded Job Ownership Ltd (JOL) in 1979 with the support of companies such as the John Lewis Partnership and international polymers manufacturer Scott Bader. Robert’s book ‘Jobs and Fairness’ is acknowledged as the definitive study on employee ownership in the UK and overseas.

Lecture gallery: