West Midlands Links

Here are a few of the organisations working locally, nationally or internationally on localisation in any way. This page is still in draft so please do let us know if you find any mistakes or have new links for us to add.

Wasteless Society

A group in Bishops Castle, South Shropshire, working on encouraging responsible use of finite resources within their local community, with a range of interesting projects.

West Midlands New Economics Group

Aims to promote sustainable economics within the West Midlands: economic activity that is designed to last and to meet people’s basic needs.

Reconomy Herefordshire – see also UK-wide Reconomy project below.

UK-based links

Common Ground

The campaign for local distinctiveness. Creating the circumstances for local knowledge and professional expertise to inform each other, Common Ground pioneers imaginative ways of reweaving the local world. They try to inspire people to join in exploration of the richness in everyday places, popular culture, common wild life, ordinary buildings and landscapes, to revalue our emotional entanglement with places and all that they mean to us and to go on to become actively involved in their care.

Food Climate Research Network

The Food Climate Research Network is an interdisciplinary, intersectoral initiative to research & promote ways of achieving absolute reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the whole UK food chain.

Global Issues Local Lives (GILL)

GILL is a small, Bristol based support organisation for neighbourhood-based activists, resisting globalisation by building more cohesive communities, educational activities for ‘global citizenship, research on globalisation and sustainable neighbourhoods.

Green Economics Institute

An independent body set up to give a reliable structure for work on green economics as it grows in popularity and importance.

International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC)

“ISEC is a non-profit organisation concerned with the protection of both biological and cultural diversity. Our emphasis is on education for action: moving beyond single issues to look at the more fundamental influences that shape our lives.”

Local Works

The campaign for the Sustainable Communities Bill, which aims to give more power to local authorities and make all levels of government more responsive to local needs and sustainability principles.

New Economics Foundation

“nef is an independent ‘think and do’ tank. We believe in economics as if people and the planet mattered.”

Positive News

Quarterly international newspaper reporting on the people, events and influences that are helping to create a more positive future for the world and its people, and that are rarely covered by the mainstream press.

Local United

Local United is a membership association of existing and aspiring social entrepreneurs. The vision of Local United is to be a new economic model based on historical precedence which will make up a significant proportion of the UK economy and put a vibrant human society back in balance with the planet.

Transition Initiatives

The Transition Initiatives is a place where there’s a community-led process that helps that town/village/city/neighbourhood become stronger and happier. It’s happening in well over a thousand highly diverse communities across the world – from towns in Australia to neighbourhoods in Portugal, from cities in Brazil to rural communities in Slovenia, from urban locations in Britain to islands off the coast of Canada.

Reconomy Project

The REconomy Project wants to help build the capacity of  Transition Initiatives, and other community organisations doing similar work, to grow a new kind of local economy. The hope is to provide some inspiration, processes, knowledge and tools that will help a community as it undertakes this exciting adventure through leadership and visioning, transforming existing businesses and starting new enterprises.


Locality is the leading nationwide network of settlements, development trusts, social action centres and community enterprises. It helps people to set up locally owned and led organisations. We support existing organisations to work effectively through peer-to-peer exchange of knowledge and best practice on community asset ownership, community enterprise, collaboration, commissioning support, social action, community voice, community rights and regeneration.


Positive Money

Positive Money believes that the root cause of many of our current social, economic and environmental problems lie in the way that we allow money to be created. We campaign for fundamental reform of a system that is fueling debt, poverty and our economic and environmental crises.


Institute for Public Policy Research

The Institute for Public Policy Research, is the UK’s leading progressive thinktank. it produces rigorous research and innovative policy ideas for a fair, democratic and sustainable world.. From 2009 the ippr works on New Era Economics, an ambitious project that seeks to construct a new economic model for the UK.

Global links

Global links are very important to LWM. Our own organisational focus on the West Midlands region because that’s where we are based and where we can effect change, not because we prioritise our local economic welfare above that of the rest of the world.

Like many other organisations around the world, we promote greater self-reliance for local economies whilst supporting others globally to do the same, and whilst ensuring that international trade benefits those who need it most, not those who are already wealthy. Current trade patterns influenced by free market ideology often pit developing countries against each other for ‘competitive advantage’ and the stakes are high for the loser.

Below are links to the websites of organisations in other parts of the world that promote a more localised approach to trade.

CCEDNet – Canada

The Canadian Community Economic Development Network believes in sustainable and inclusive communities directing their own social, economic and environmental futures.  Its mission is to strengthen communities by creating economic opportunities that improve environmental and social conditions.


BALTA is a regional research collaboration amongst community based organizations, universities and colleges in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada, with an interest in the social economy. BALTA’s mandate involves researching various aspects of the social economy with a view to both increasing knowledge about the sector and identifying ways to strengthen and expand the sector.



BALLE is the fastest growing business alliance of values aligned entrepreneurs, business networks, and local economy founders in North America. It believes that real national prosperity — even global prosperity — begins at the local level and that by connecting entrepreneurs who are re-thinking their industries, founders who are investing in the local economy movement, and network organizers who can mobilize on a broad scale, we can — and will — create a stronger, more resilient, and fair economy.

The Canadian Community Economic Development Network

The Canadian Community Economic Development Network believes in sustainable and inclusive communities directing their own social, economic and environmental futures.

We are a member-led organization committed to strengthening communities by creating economic opportunities that improve environmental and social conditions. We bring people and organizations together to share knowledge and build a collective voice for CED action. Our members are part of a movement creating community-based solutions to local and global challenges.


(IFG) is a North-South research and educational institution composed of leading activists, economists, scholars, and researchers providing analysis and critiques on the cultural, social, political, and environmental impacts of economic globalisation.

Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC) – South Africa
Through its programmes, and by campaigning and coalition building, AIDC aims to contribute to the development of national, regional and international challenges to the currently dominant global economic system.
Through the empowerment and mobilisation of progressive organisations and popular social movements it further aims to contribute to the development of alternatives that ensure fundamental socio-economic transformation.

DE Labs
Distributed Economies is a strategy to combine sustainable development, innovation and entrepreneurial behavior, with a focus on attractive solutions for small and medium sized enterprises: to draw from regional/local values, strengths and possibilities; to make sustainable development as an integrated part of innovations; to realise large-scale benefits through better utilization of SME networks…

Focus on the Global SouthThailand Focus aims to consciously and consistently articulate, link and develop greater coherence between local community-based and national, regional and global paradigms of change. Focus on the Global South strives to create a distinct and cogent link between development at the grassroots and the “macro” levels.

Forum for African Alternatives Senegal / all Africa

Dedicated to challenging the neo-liberal agenda in Africa and to proposing alternative policies. No website but link gives more info


Friends of the Earth International

The world’s largest grassroots environmental network, uniting 71 diverse national member groups and some 5,000 local activist groups. Campaigns on today’s most urgent environmental and social issues, challenges the current model of economic and corporate globalisation, and promotes solutions that will help to create environmentally sustainable and socially just societies.

Institute for Local Self Reliance – USA

ILSR works with citizen groups, governments and private businesses in developing policies that extract the maximum value from local resources.

International Forum on Globalisation

North-South research and educational institution composed of leading activists and economists providing analyses and critiques on the cultural, social, political, and environmental impacts of economic globalisation.

Third World Network

Research and Advocacy on issues of social and economic policy that advances the needs and interests of peoples of African and other third world countries (especially marginalized social groups), a fair distribution of world’s resources, and forms of development which are sustainable and fulfil human needs

UBINIG (‘Policy Research for Development Alternatives’) (NB – website says’coming soon,’ Nov 08, but international sustainable agriculture NGO Grain has interviews with UBINIG staff.)

Bangladeshi organisation working on policy research, campaigns and advocacy on issues which have implications on the livelihoods of farming communities. UBINIG works on ecological agriculture, rural industrialisation, and women & health, and campaigns on international trade deals with the interests of community scale farming in mind.

Via Campesina

Via Campesina is an international movement which coordinates peasant organizations of small and middle-scale producers, agricultural workers, rural women, and indigenous communities from Asia, Africa, America, and Europe.

Economic Gardening – USA

Economic gardening is an entrepreneurial approach to economic development that seeks to grow the local economy from within. First pioneered in Littleton, Colorado in 1989, its premise is that local entrepreneurs create the companies that bring new wealth and economic growth to a region in the form of jobs, tax revenues, per capita income, and a vibrant local business sector. Economic gardening seeks to focus on growing and nurturing local businesses rather than hunting for “big game” outside the area.

Grassroots Economic Organizing (GEO)

Grassroots Economic Organizing (GEO) is a decentralized collective of educators, researchers and grassroots activists working to promote an economy based on democratic participation, worker and community ownership, social and economic justice, and ecological sustainability–a “solidarity economy”–through grassroots journalism, organizing support, cross-sector networking and movement-building and the publication of educational and organizational resources.


LED Knowledge

Local Economic Development Knowledge portal is an online space for sharing the experiences and resources of people and organizations supporting local economic development processes at the local level.

New Economics Institute – USA

The mission of the New Economics Institute is to conceive, create, communicate, and catalyse new economic theories and practices toward a just and sustainable world.

Sustainable Community Development – Canada

Sustainable Community Development (SCD) aims to integrate economic, social and environmental objectives in community development. The Centre’s mission is to support the sustainable development of communities through research, education (credit and non-credit), and community mobilization; it provides research, training and advisory services.

Food sovereignty UK and global

Food sovereignty proposes an alternative food system that creates practical, sustainable and democratic solutions to the failed industrialised food model. It is an approach developed by smallscale food producers in the global South that has become a global movement.

 European Food Declaration 

NGOs across Europe acting together for a sustainable food and agriculture policy. LWM has signed – of course!  Read more about the European Food Declaration in the following blog entry please do sign up using the link above.

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