Callout - 'A Progressive Future for England' conference, October

I know Outlandish have been contacted about this but thought to share here. Pat Conaty and others are plotting a 2-day event in October, a kind of ‘Beyond the Fragments’ for the New Economy / Transition / Solidarity Economy / Solidarity Coops. The Worker Coop Council has been contacted also. Here’s the synopsis and invitation to participate (in designing as well as participating):

"DRAFT - final title to be decided

English Futures: Planning A Progressive Future For England

Alternative titles:
English Futures: Co-creating an action plan for progressive change.
Shifting Power: Co-creating an action plan for a progressive English future.
Or… add a better one here!

Date: 2 days during October 2017 (likely 18-20th October)
Venue: Somewhere in Brexit England (probably Wigan or Coventry)

We are in a time of great uncertainty and unfolding crises

The social, economic and environmental failures of the current system are being cruelly exposed by rising inequality, social division, increasingly precarious and insecure employment, loss of biodiversity, accelerating climate change and the inability of an increasing number of people to meet their basic needs for good food and housing.

A progressive England exists

Across England individuals, organisations and networks are working together to create a future that is inclusive, collaborative, and creates shared benefits. We are creating affordable housing, local food, renewable energy, sustainable transport, and alternative finance systems from the ground up.

But we lack voice and coordination

Whilst those of us working for a progressive future share a set of values, and are working towards similar goals, our work remains fragmented and siloed. We have yet to demonstrate that we can bring together the different components we are each engaged in to create an alternative sustainable system, and our advocacy and policy work lacks voice and coordination. We also struggle to work across identities of class, colour, culture, nationality, gender and religion, even where we share the same values and aspirations for the future.

In the run up to the 2022(?) General Election, and our departure from the European Union, there will be unprecedented opportunities to shape and influence the creation and direction of policy in the United Kingdom. Currently the progressive voice in England risks being unheard or at the very least under represented, and the alternatives we have developed ignored or undermined.

Help us shape a progressive post Brexit future for England

We want to bring together progressive activists, organisers, and entrepreneurs - thinkers and doers - for a two day summit to develop a shared agenda to shift power, from Westminster and multinational corporations, to people and communities across England.

We recognise that there are many pieces to this puzzle, with many excellent examples of what works; from brilliant co-housing and community land trusts, to successful community energy schemes and innovative services that support people overcome multiple disadvantages. We have research and policy proposals, campaigns and participatory processes. We believe that the best way to effect change is to bring together those working for progressive reform with those actively building practical radical alternatives on the ground. By bringing these solutions together and mobilising people for local and regional action we believe we can make ‘taking back control’ a collaborative and progressive reality.

Over two days we will:
Share the successes and potential of our movements
Look at examples where devolution and bottom up mobilisation are shifting democratic, political and economic power to regions and municipalities (UK & international)
Identify the opportunities for a progressive power shift in England
Start to build a new coalition to develop a shared approach to political reform and joined up practical alternatives that deliver collaborative, progressive and inclusive change

We don’t think two days is enough to set out our vision and make the plan. But it is enough to make a start, to develop new relationships, share a bigger picture and identify mechanisms and opportunities to work together more closely. We envisage that this will be the start of a wider process, one of a series of connected events and activities that will work together to create real change. The triggering of Article 50 is a moment of significant disruption and presents us with an unparalleled opportunity to reshape the future. We hope you will join us in that effort.

Practicalities and an invitation to get involved

A small group has started some initial organising, looking at potential venues, processes and who to invite. We are currently self-financing and are seeking modest funds to support the core organising work. The event will be run on a cost of service / non profit making basis, with open accounts and an inclusive and participatory approach to getting it done. Attendance to the event will be mainly by invitation, with the intention to bring together an initial group of 100-150 people with the agency and potential to follow through.

We want the organising group, and the event itself, to recognise and reflect the diversity of progressive thought and action currently taking place in England.

If you are interested to get involved, please contact Dan Hurring in the first instance.

We would like to call an initial meeting of the wider group as soon as possible - please fill in this meeting scheduler to help us identify the best day:

[Initially aiming for this paper to be sent from at least: Shared Assets, Permaculture Association, Totnes REconomy project, Solidarity Economy Association, Transition Network, Forum for the Future, plus the organisations we invite to join for 19th May.]


Hey Sion

Have you heard any more about this/are you involved. I’ve chased it up twice with Andy from Permacuture UK and haven’t heard anything back.

Thanks and hope you’re well.

Hi @Kayleigh I haven’t been involved and haven’t heard anything more! In fact I just Googled ‘A Progressive Future for a Progressive England’ and this conversation was the third return … I will see what I can find out

Hi Sion - I had a chat with Dan from Permaculture yesterday. This is the latest:

  • they’re having a planning meeting 19-20th of October (I can’t make it because I’m already booked for a CICOPA event)
  • they’d like some online presence but have a small budget at the mo. We agreed that Dan would firm something up, and get in touch with someone (ideally from CoTech) to build a simple site for now
  • they have big aspirations for the outcomes of this event and want to include us where they can, which is great.
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Happy to build the site free of charge

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I asked Dan to register on this site, so if he does - please let him know.

I think this proposed event morphed into CTRLshift: An Emergency Summit for Change.

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