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written by

Grace Crabtree

Jul 4, 2022

Illustration by Rowena Sheehan for 'The social economy is ordinary' by Dan Gregory

STIR Summer 2022 will be published later this week - you can pre-order your copy here for 25% off.

In this issue:

Playground for the New Economy – festival programme

Our fourth festival promises a packed three days of panels, workshops, open space, virtual reality experiences, sustainable food, and live music. Explore the programme in our festival feature, designed by Guillermo Ortego.

The social economy is ordinary – Dan Gregory

With a nod to Raymond Williams's essay 'Culture is Ordinary', Dan Gregory argues that in order to build the social economy, we need to expand its definition and remember the quiet, forgotten, and invisible elements of it - from allotments and village halls to Working Men's Clubs  - a reminder that the social economy is in fact often very ordinary.

Food for Thought: How technology builds communities – Stephen Miller and Fergus Arkley

Community tech is a movement transforming how technology works with and for people. Drawing from research undertaken by Rachel Coldicutt from Promising Trouble, this article outlines the beginning of an ambitious programme offering an alternative vision of how technology can interact with social infrastructure.

An excerpt from Left Cultures – Phil Wrigglesworth

Left Cultures is a contemporary space to champion all kinds of voices on the Left, whether that be Socialist, Communist, Anarchist or anything in between. Left Cultures 1, a new magazine project from Phil Wrigglesworth with contributions from over 50 culture creators, will be celebrating the Left’s cultural past, discussing gems of storytelling within film, literature, music, art and poetry.

Q&A: Diversity in Environmental Action  – Black and Green Ambassadors

Ahead of their festival panel discussion, this year’s Black and Green Ambassadors discuss how their programme aims to transform participation within the climate agenda by reframing perceptions of the environmental movement, and explain why action at a grassroots level is fundamental in addressing the climate emergency.

Interview: Ashley Frawley – with Jonny Gordon-Farleigh

STIR editor Jonny Gordon-Farleigh talks to Ashley Frawley, author of Semiotics of Happiness: Rhetorical beginnings of a public problem.

Is Community Tech Fit to Dismantle the Master’s House? – Colm Massey

In the face of climate change and growing socio-economic inequities, communities across the world are working to create a more regenerative future: one where people and nature can thrive together. To solve the interlinked crises we face, we need these types of communities to flourish. But they don’t always have the resources, power, or capabilities to reach the tipping points needed for wider change. Communities need digital tools tailor-made for them: tools that help them connect, empower and grow.

Review of The End of the End of History: Politics in the Twenty-First Century by George Hoare, Alex Hochuli, and Philip Cunliffe – Grace Crabtree

Grace Crabtree reviews The End of the End of History, which traces the demise of Francis Fukuyama’s notion of the ‘end of history’ through the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, Brexit and Trump in 2016, and the acceleration of economic damage and blows to civil liberty through the COVID-19 pandemic.

An excerpt from from Radical Spaces – Margaret Kohn (Cornell University, 2003)

In Radical Space, Margaret Kohn puts space at the centre of democratic theory, examining different sites of working-class mobilisation in Europe and explaining how these sites destabilised the existing patterns of social life, economic activity, and political participation.

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