Decolonising Economics

Friends Provident Foundation is an independent charity that makes grants and uses its endowment towards a fair and sustainable economic system that serves society. We connect, fund, invest and share learning to shape an economy that works for all. Our current economic system produces inequality, environmental degradation and undermines our relationships with one another. It shouldn’t have to be that way.

Our mission is to help create a ‘fair economy, better world’. Our strategy contributes to the delivery of this mission in three ways, through:
1. Giving grants.
2. The way we manage our investments.
3. Our power to convene and communicate.

Economic, social and environmental disruption in the UK and beyond is evidence that the way capitalism and financial systems operate is creating social disharmony and increasing inequality. Our Developing a Fair Economy grants programme focuses on how we can make a difference to the lives of the most vulnerable as this is where the flaws in the system are most obvious, not just in terms of poverty, but also inequality.

We support disruptive innovation that will change the way the economy is organised. We’re keen to explore and inform how change at a regulatory, policy and other systemic level might contribute to an economy that balances risks and rewards more fairly and uses resources sustainably.

We know that systems change will need a strong analysis from a range of perspectives. So, we want to support work that can influence decision-making by different groups in the economy, with the aim of stimulating new realistic ideas and practical examples that can be scaled up.

Therefore, we are really pleased that we are supporting Decolonising Economics. I interviewed Nonhlanhla (they/them) about what Decolonising Economics are trying to achieve.

Noni
We’ve been organising for the past three years with some vision for the kind of work we wanted to do, but we only created time and capacity last year with a small grant to identify our long-term strategy. Overall, our work is aims to do three things :
1. #Divestfromwhiteness – Deepen the analysis of our economic and financial systems which are currently rooted in the colonial legacy of maintaining wealth in whiteness.
2. Work alongside partners and allies to shift the strategies and practices of the new economy movement in the UK to facilitate a solidarity economy
3. Invest in the leadership of marginalised communities of colour who are organising to towards community ownership of assets, as a strategy for reparations that centers collective healing.

Jake
How are you going to do achieve your aims?

Noni
We strategise to move power and resources to communities building a just transition that is rooted in racial justice.

Primarily, we are strategists. We believe that there is a dearth of understanding around how racial capitalism is maintained in today’s economy, and even less understanding of how we transform out of it.

One reason why this gap exists is because the theoretical and academic ideas around the economy need work to be transformed into accessible concepts and frameworks that support the very practical ways in which marginalised communities are building a solidarity economy.

We believe that in order to build the movement for reparative justice, we need to first understand the depth to which colonialism has influenced our modern economy by extracting power and resources from marginalised communities and concentrating in those communities that hold social power (whiteness, middle-classness and cis-straightness).

Our mission is to identify ways in which individuals and institutions can divest from whiteness, and organises those with wealth to redistribute towards marginalised communities who are investing in the solidarity economy. We in Europe have a responsibility to drive a decolonising agenda from the heart of the world’s colonial powers, in a way that is rooted in global solidarity.

Jake: Do you have any upcoming events?

Noni: Sure Everyone is invited to Decolonising Futures. Our programme of events will take you on a journey through the framework for a just transition – helping us understand the colonial mindset of the extractive economy, applying the social justice filter to our actions for moving capital and shifting power, and supporting our ideas and visions for building a solidarity economy.

By attending, you’ll be supporting the launch of our crowdfunder investing in BPOC-led cooperative futures!

We’ll be joined by some of the UK’s hottest racial justice organisers to explore:
Racial Hierarchies – Caste, Class and Capitalism (30th June)
Resourcing Reparations – Investing in collective healing (14th July)
⚧️ The Economics of Queerness – How colonialism shaped sexuality and gender (21st July)
♿️ Caring for Every Body – Organising towards disability justice (29th July)

Tickets for each event range from £0 // £5 // £12.50 or contribute £30 for a festival pass to all four events plus access to the recordings

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