Localising Prosperity – a short film

We are delighted to launch our new Localising Prosperity video – a seven-minute film exploring better ways to do economics.

Through four projects that exemplify aspects of the Localising Prosperity approach our film shows how we can create an economy which is lively and diverse, meets local needs with local resources, & in which more people have a stake.

Our thanks to all the contributors involved in making this film (see more below). Please share it widely!

Thanks also to our film-maker, Susan Jones of Redhead Business Films and to our funder the Barrow Cadbury Trust.

In such a short film we’ve not had space to fully describe the featured projects and who is behind each of them, so here’s a quick round-up and some useful links:

The New Hospital: anchoring prosperity in the community

This is about ensuring “anchor institutions’ like Sandwell & Birmingham’s new hospital (leaving aside current concerns about Carillion!) has the maximum positive impact on local people, by ensuring that retail options, procurement and related services are locally sourced and employ locally wherever possible. The organisations working on this – Sandwell Council, Citizen Home, Localise West Midlands and Smethwick CAN amongst others – are proposing that one of the hospital’s retail units is taken by a social enterprise shop  that could not only sell locally produced goods but act as a “concierge” type service for busy staff and visiting families, to access the services they need from local businesses.

Thanks to Conrad Parke, Martin Hogg, Karen McCarthy for appearances in this one.

Inclusive business support ecosystems in Balsall Heath

Citizens UK and the Centre for Research on Ethnic Minority Enterpreneurship have been working together with business people in Lozells, Small Heath and Sparkbrook to achieve better engagement with support agencies, aiming to generate an inclusive business support ecosystem in these areas. Nayer’s jewellery business is one of those involved. Thanks to Moses Dakurivosa and Nayer Khan-Farrukh for contributing here.

Energy Capital – local business innovation for social good

Headed by Matthew Rhodes, Energy Capital is about collaborative sector development, in which energy innovation delivers on the needs of real people and the environment, and policy shifts support it to do so, with locally owned businesses  involved at every level. RentE Cars is on of the local businesses that is ‘driving’ (forgive the pun) and taking advantage of electric car charging innovations. As well as Matthew we are grateful to Rob Jolly and Waqar Bukhari for taking part in this one.

Social care: an opportunity for inclusive economics?

Our final case study is about how social care, rather than being a problem, can be a positive force for inclusive economics that could help the West Midlands Combined Authority achieve its stated aims of sharing prosperity more widely – as a report by NEF for LWM outlines. The “foundational economy” is made up of the things society really needs, social care being one, and deserves a closer economic focus. Built around adaptable, small scale and community enterprises, social care may not provide conventional ‘growth’ but could have a huge impact on local jobs in places where they are needed, providing something we all need and care about. Crossroads Care is an example of a locally accountable and adaptable enterprise delivering care and economic opportunity. Our thanks to Christine Christie, Graham Evans, Carol Glover and her mum, and Joanne Ferguson for their time.

Together these stories show some of the ways that communities can have greater economic power and prosperity.

If you’re interested in our approach try our Localising Prosperity webpages for more information.

Karen Leach

 

 

Can you help us to inspire and catalyse a better economy?

Can you help us to inspire and catalyse a better economy?

Join LWM’s board

We know our work towards localising and redistributing prosperity resonates with a lot of people. We’d love some of that resonance to draw people to get involved in governing our future – the small but crucial ‘lynchpin’ organisation in the region’s progressive economics!

After the summer we will be embarking on a fourth phase of our Localising Prosperity programme, which came from our groundbreaking research into the benefits of a localisation approach and how it can be integrated into mainstream economic development. We are now focusing on delivery of this agenda in practice. The main strands of work will be:

  • Maximising the local benefits of the new hospital development in Smethwick, including with partners through the EU-funded USEIT project
  • Enabling more of a voice for economic justice organisations into the Combined Authority agenda
  • Supporting and challenging regional and local economic agendas to go beyond ‘growth’ to ‘who benefits’.

We will also be putting some time into diversifying our activities and will be planning for this over the summer.

To help refresh and strengthen our thinking we’re looking for two new active, committed board members with commitment to our concept and values, understanding of the tactics and communication for effecting change, and relevant knowledge and contacts.

We are also very aware that the age, ethnicity and gender profile of our board does not reflect the population of the West Midlands, and we are keen to address this in order to benefit from a wider range of perspectives and ensure we do not inadvertently exclude anyone from our group. So we particularly welcome applications from women, younger people, and people from a variety of cultural, ethnic and social backgrounds.

Please read our Board member role description and browse our website for more information. If you’re interested, please email us outlining how you meet the above criteria and why you are interested in getting involved, attaching your CV. We’ll then be in touch to arrange a meeting.

Please also pass this on to contacts who could be interested!

Karen Leach

A Future Beyond Growth: event, Sat 5th July 9.30am

You are invited to A Future Beyond Growth – a half-day event to explore the policy and practice changes needed for a better (sustainable and socially just) economy, and how we can make it happen.

Saturday 5th July, 09.30 until 1330

Innovation Centre Birmingham – Holt Street, Aston Science Park, Birmingham

Keynote speaker: Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party

UK economic policy needs to serve its different regions, deliver social justice, and operate within environmental limits. In the run up to the 2015 elections, how can we challenge London-centric political debate and set an agenda for achieving this in the West Midlands?

This participatory event organised by Compass WM and Localise WM will bring people together from across party-political lines to explore some coherent policy and practice proposals for meaningful economic change, and to plan how we can help turn them into action.

–         How can more people be included more equally in the economy?

–         How can we shape finance, skills, planning and other levers to support sustainable prosperity?

–         How can we make environmental limits real in economic decisions?

All are welcome – policymakers, community activists, political activists, NGOs, economic development officers anyone who wants to help make a better economy happen in the region. Booking is essential.

How to bookcompasslwmlogo

The event cost is £5.00 to cover the cost of refreshments and can be paid via Paypal or on the day. Please email karen@localisewestmidlands.org.uk with the following:

Name:

Organisation (if any):

Any access requirements:

I have paid by Paypal: Yes / no

I will pay on the day: Yes / no
We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Karen Leach (Localise WM) and Andy Howell (Compass WM)

 

About the organisers:

Compass is a home for those who want to build and be a part of a Good Society; one where equality, sustainability and democracy are not mere aspirations, but a living reality. This event will partly act as a relaunch of Compass West Midlands and set an agenda for further action.

Localise West Midlands works towards more localised approaches to supply chains, ownership and decision-making for a more just and sustainable economy. We do this by bringing people and organisations together to explore ideas and take action, and by research, consultancy and campaigning. See www.localisingprosperity.org.uk, our new resource for better local economies.

We are grateful to Innovation Birmingham for use of the venue.