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Ctrl-shift: An emergency summit for change in the UK
March 27, 2018

By Kat Darling, SEA

Last week, the culmination of eight months of collaborative effort came to fruition as the Solidarity Economy Association (https://www.solidarityeconomy.coop/) joined co-organisers in Wigan, in the North of England, for CTRLShift: An Emergency Summit For Change. The event brought together 150 people representing almost as many organisations to work on action plans and projects that will deliver radical, positive social change, in light of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

Kat Darling, SEA’s communications manager, said: “Brexit – whether you agree with it or not – heralds a time of unprecedented rapid change and opportunity. Its timing, amongst unfolding and concurrent crises of the environment, social justice and the economy, mean that we are facing stark realities and starker choices if we are to ride the various storms and emerge as a more resilient, more sustainable society, culture and land base.

“SEA has been part of the CTRLShift organising group since its inception, and whilst co-organising an event of this scale, alongside 35 partner organisations, certainly had its challenges, the fact that such a diverse range of organisations, from across varying sectors all over the UK, were working together for meaningful change was incredibly exciting, and we’re excited about the tangible work that has, and will continue to, come out of the event.”

The organising team are still collating the outcomes of the event, which will be shared very soon, but in the meantime there are some great post-event reports like this one from Transition Network’s co-founder, Rob Hopkins,  this from Indra Adnan, co-initiator of The Alternative UK, and this report from Dr Bertie Russell, Research Associate in the Urban Institute.”

SEA joined national apex bodies like Permaculture Association, Co-operatives UK, and Transition Network, alongside organisations spanning the social justice, open democracy, food sovereignty and environmental movements, including the RSA, Schumacher College, Shared Assets, The People’s Food Policy, UnLtd, Real Farming Trust, and Stir to Action. Find out more about CTRLSHift, and follow plan’s for future collaborative work, here – http://www.ctrlshiftsummit.org.uk/partners/

Media: STIR (UK) community toolbox special issue

“Our spring  2017 issue is a Community Toolbox of illustrated how-tos and articles to support more community-led change. With so many communities now interested in buying local assets and using co-operative governance, we decided to invite leading practitioners to introduce a tool and how it works.

How do you engage your local community? One way to start is to co-create a Local Economicc Blueprint. This tool is about bringing people together to explore how to change procurement strategies  at local anchor institutions, the opportunities for import substitution, and how to support local enterprises. It’s a really useful tool that allows you to identify local needs and build a strategy on how to get there, without assuming what the community needs. “

To help you set up, this issue addresses different themes:

  • What is Community Economic Development?
  • How to Create a Local Economic Blueprint?
  • How to Make Decisions Online ?
  • How to Make a Community Space Work
  • How to Set up a Community Co-op

You can find more informations here:


You can should more informations specifically  about solidarity economy on this issue:


About the Magazine

STIR magazine is a quarterly print magazine of new economic ideas and original art in 2013. We publish international contributors on the co-operative movement, the global commons, solidarity economics and many other emerging political practices. Moving beyond traditional political commentary, we explore the inspiring and viable alternatives that represent a serious challenge to the current political crisis.

STIR magazine explores community ownership, co-operatives, post-growth economics, food sovereignty, alternative finance, law and social change, open data, cultural activism, peer-to-peer production, and the future of work.
Sources: https://www.stirtoaction.com/

UK, Alternatives to Capitalism: The Solidarity Economy Perspective
October 20, 2016
Institute Solidarity Economics - Alternatives to Capitalism

The Institute for Solidarity Economics, in partnership with STIR Magazine, organised an important event in London, on the 18th October 2016: “Alternatives to Capitalism: The Solidarity Economy Perspective“. The event explored the Solidarity Economy Movement as a practical, humane and just alternative to capitalism, with a series of interventions by panelists drawn from different sectors of the economy, who discussed what they see already happening in the UK that could be called Solidarity Economics and what kinds of cross sectoral initiatives they think could work to link their sectors to others.

The keynote speaker was Michael Lewis, one of the founders of the RIPESS, and of the Community Economic Development movement in Canada.  The other panelists were:

  • Siôn Whellens, host and Master of Ceremonies, a co-op advocate and co-founder of the Worker Co-operative Solidarity Fund;
  • Tony Greenham, Director of Economy, Enterprise and Manufacturing Programme at the Royal Society of Arts (RSA);
  • Jane Grindey, founding member of Wolverton Community Energy;
  • Ludovica Rodgers, Technology Commons activist and advocate of the platform cooperatives movement in the UK;
  • Pat Conaty – Research Associate at Co-operatives UK;
  • Lynne Davies -Member of the Land Workers’ Alliance;
  • Jason Nardi – General Delegate of RIPESS – Solidarity Economy Europe network, and Solidarius Italy.

The panelists spoke about the current economic conditions in Britain and presented a movement of “economic organizing” that is defying the current system from the bottom up, in many countries around Europe and across the world. From the farmers of La Via Campesina, to the care workers of the Italian social co-operative movement, to the activists resisting the modern enclosure of our Commons, people around the world are coming together to build an economy that puts people and planet at its core.

The evening public meeting was preceded by a seminar at NEF – New Economics Foundation.

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