What is the issue?
How we organise our economies affects us all, our health and wellbeing and the future of human life on earth. Yet research shows that most people in the UK feel unable to influence how the economy is organised, either through democracy or in everyday life. Economic systems – at a local, national and global level – are currently not working for everyone in society. Whilst these systems are able to secure a very high material standard of life for large numbers of people, far too many people still cannot secure the resources they need to survive and reach their full potential. The ability of different groups to secure their needs and shape economic systems are to a large extent shaped by systemic and historically embedded inequalities along lines of race, gender, socioeconomic status and geography. In the coming decades we face huge economic opportunities and challenges such as recovering from the pandemic, meeting everyone’s basic needs, reducing inequality, and addressing the environmental crisis. To meet these we need the expertise, knowledge and participation of communities across the UK, particularly those furthest from power whose perspectives are excluded from current conversations and decision making.
What will the project try to achieve?
Economy will work with people to build economies that everyone can shape – organised through participatory and democratic approaches, where everyone has the power and agency to meaningfully influence decisions that affect them. The organisation will offer a range of activities to support people, particularly those currently furthest from power, to feel informed, confident, capable, curious and connected when it comes to their economy. This includes providing accessible economics education and training for adults and young people, delivering public interest economic news; creating a network of media partners and community contributors committed to transforming the media ecosystem by diversifying who has a public voice on the economy; working with economic decision-making institutions to implement more citizen participation and deliberation; and working with communities in the places where they are to help them shape the economy to achieve what matters to them.
Who might be interested in this project?
Everybody who feels like economics isn’t for them, that the economy is threatening and distant and that they don’t have any power so there isn’t any point. Economy seeks to work with community organisations, journalists and the media, civil servants and politicians, artists, filmmakers, businesses, think tanks, academics and anybody who shares their vision of a democratised economics. Do get in touch with them if you’re interested in exploring how you might work together.