Corresponding Author

Elizabeth Summerfield


This article tells the story of the Cooperative Movement in Ireland during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries from the perspective of one of its woman leaders. It does so in order to distil lessons for the contemporary thought leadership of sustainability from a period before the term was coined. It does so with the warrant of Albert Einstein:

The distinction between the past, the present and the future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.

Its evidence base is historical literature, but its argument and analysis draw on recent research in leadership studies, neuroscience and theology.