What is the issue?
The economy plays a central role in society, it shapes our health and wellbeing and the sustainability of the planet. And yet, despite this importance, the vast majority of people feel alienated from the subject, and unable to influence the economy around them. The media is a crucial institution through which we communicate as a society and therefore plays an important role in undermining or supporting public discussion of the economy. Coverage of the economy in the media focuses on macro aggregate indicators like GDP growth, unemployment, interest rates, inflation and productivity which often fail to reflect peoples’ lived experience of the economy. The decline in the local media in the UK means that the means of communication are now further away from most people. All of this makes it harder for people to have a public voice through which to articulate their lived experience of the economy, their priorities or their values, and in turn, they are less able to scrutinise, influence and challenge the actions of economic and political institutions.
What will the project try to achieve?
Economy 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. The organisation will launch a national network of citizen economists and work with the media to facilitate diverse, inclusive and critical communication about the economy and what matters. The organisation will build a movement to push for systemic and cultural change around how we think, talk about and make decisions about the economy.
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. They seek 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.