Bristol leads the way in training the future
1000 people to become new economists
Bristol is a hub of new ways of thinking, but more importantly, doing. Unsurprisingly, it is here, later this year, that we’ll see the biggest new economic training programme to date which will train 1000 people in new economic practices like how to set up freelance co-ops, how to use ‘community wealth building’ techniques, methods of community organising and various alternative finance models.
What’s the ‘new economy’?
There’s a big crisis as economic inequality worsens and finite resources are consumed at an ever-increasing rate. We need to change the way we run our businesses, the way we organise ourselves, to who resources are distributed and how we determine who benefits from the wealth produced by our communities. Paths to how we make this change have already been laid out, and there are many examples and stories of success – community businesses set up to meet local needs. They’re becoming more numerous by the day, as ever more people realise the need for the change, but they’re still a long way from being mainstream. These progressive but widely unadopted approaches to reshaping our economy have been called several things – the new economy, the solidarity economy, the alternative economy.
How can we make this ‘new economy’ THE economy?
The Bristol Pound has been a leading light in this economic reorganisation. It is a clear and simple way to move toward a fair and sustainable economy. In 2015 Bristol Pound CIC hosted the New Economy Summit: world-leading new economic organisations and practitioners shared what they were doing and showed how we can all move forward, from cooperative working to common wealth to community shares.
Now, Stir to Action, a non-profit based in Bristol and Bridport, is taking the next step and creating the biggest training programme in the UK to date. From October 2018 to July 2019, 1000 people will be trained in 3 cities, starting with Bristol, bringing in experienced new economists to help others follow in their footsteps. Participants will attend an intensive workshop in the city and receive mentoring and the chance to live crowdfund for their project or business. You can take a look at the workshop options here.
The first step is a crowdfunder, launched this month, where you can pre-book a spot on a workshop, or pledge to help others on low income by choosing unique rewards.
Bristol Pound is a big part of a much bigger picture, a network of alternatives slowly but surely being brought into the mainstream. This training programme will help create 1000 more people ready and able to bring about that change.
Adam Rich is a Bristol Pound member and part of Stir to Action.