The social, economic and environmental failures of the current system are being cruelly exposed by rising inequality, social division, increasingly precarious and insecure employment, an alarming loss of biodiversity and accelerating climate change. On a personal level, an increasing number of people are struggling to meet basic needs of food and housing and to maintain positive mental health.
A better future exists
Across the UK, individuals, organisations and networks are working to create a future that is inclusive, collaborative, and creates shared benefits. We are creating affordable low carbon housing, local food, renewable energy, sustainable transport, and alternative finance systems from the ground up. Cooperative solutions, entrepreneurial innovation and new forms of democratic and social change are showing ways forward and, in some rare places, building local partnerships with the public sector.
But we lack voice and coordination
Whilst many of the people working for a more participatory, inclusive and regenerative 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 system, and our advocacy and policy work lacks voice and coordination.
In the (probable) departure from the EU and its aftermath, there will be unprecedented opportunities to shape the future of the UK.
Help shape a positive future
CTRLshift seeks to catalyse a network of change-making organisations, networks and independent practitioners, to work together to form a broad campaign for positive social, economic and environmental change.
At our first event in Wigan over 100 organisations and networks came together.
We believe that the best way to effect change is to bring together those working to reform the system with those actively building practical radical alternatives on the ground. We want to bring together activists, organisers and entrepreneurs to develop a shared agenda to shift power over our democracy, economy and environment, from Westminster and multinational corporations, to people and communities across the UK.
Four sectors and the new municipalism
To make the society level changes that are needed, it is essential that the four main sectors – Civil Society, (local) Government, (social) Business, and Academia – can all bring their special contribution. We also have to work across the political spectrum.
Action at the local level is where much of this can come together, hence the recognition and support of the ‘new municipalism’ approach. National policy change is clearly needed too and, again, we are stronger if we work together.
Date: 9-10th May 2019
Venue: Potbank Hotel / Spode Works, Stoke-on-Trent