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.  This year’s lecture will be held on Wednesday 11th April between 12.00pm – 3.30pm including a networking lunch. We are very grateful to the support of Cass Business School who will be hosting the lecture once again at their London campus.

We are honoured that this year’s lecture will be delivered by leading entrepreneur Dame Stephanie Shirley CH.

Dame Stephanie established a female-friendly software company in 1962 and broke new ground to take it into co-ownership, peaking at 65% staff control.

She is proud of what became a plc valued at some $3bn and employing 8,500 people. But is most proud of having taken her company into co-ownership at no cost to anyone but her. She entrusted her destiny to the largely female staff; and it thrived. 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.

Dame Stephanie also recently released her memoir Let IT Go, which charts her life from a child in Germany and arrival in England as an unaccompanied refugee to successful IT entrepreneur through to losing her only child, her retirement and dedication to charity and in particular those relating to autism. Read more. She will be selling copies of her book at the Lecture, proceeds will go to her charity.

To review other speeches from Dame Stephanie please click here.

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.

Book your place now by clicking on the button below or contacting Alex Redfearn directly on 01482 667122.



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.

Previous lectures

To read about last year’s lecture delivered by Sacha Romanovitch please click here.