What's Happening at Stir to Action - Autumn 2021

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written by

Grace Crabtree

Oct 7, 2021

Technocratic to Democratic: Bringing Together Democratic Business & Policy

At the end of September we launched our first report – Building democratic culture, skills, and partnership in policy-led regions. This report has a relatively simple purpose – to create a new evidence base that shares the direct experiences of democratic business members and advisors who have been working within institutional strategies over the last half-decade. The ambition is for the report to encourage new strategic partnerships and to review how key stakeholders currently contribute to the broader movement for a democratic economy.

Later this month, we also host our first residential retreat at Selgars Mill, Devon, bringing together a group of democratic businesses and advisors who are working with local government. The plan is to use the residential to create a new guide on how democratic businesses can work more effectively within economic policy initiatives, building a more sector-wide approach.

Co-operative Council Innovation Network (CCIN)

Building on our work with local government, and as an affiliate member of CCIN, we’re hosting a webinar for 25 local authorities on how they can support democratic business development – especially building a local business pipeline – with a focus on the pre-start phase.

New Economy Programme

We have just relaunched a year-long New Economy Programme, our democratic learning and action platform. Coming up in October, we are hosting webinars on Sociocracy & Better Decision Making with Lucy King (13 October), Worker Co-ops: How to Get Started with Jo White (16 October), Setting Up a Community Food Co-op with Cooperation Town (20 October) and Collaborations towards system change: The role of community partnerships with Stephanie Gamauf (23 October). In November and December, webinars include Just Don’t Call it Conflict Resolution with Kate Whittle (3 November), Community Ownership: How to Get Started with Claudia Limpert (20 November); and Media Training: Becoming a Spokesperson with award-winning journalist Rachel Shabi (15 December).

We are working with more partners on this programme to offer fully funded training. If you’re a young adult (18-35), from an ethnic minority, or live in an area of deprivation, you could be eligible for 80 fully funded places from Power to Change. If you live in Preston and have an early-stage idea for a new co-operative, you might benefit from Preston City Council’s sponsorship of 20 places.

We've also created a simple step-by-step guide to using the programme and a learning enquiry form to help participants assess their needs and recommend courses to support individual or organisational development.

Visit stirtoaction.com/workshops to explore the programme and book your training.

Young Cooperators Network

As the autumn begins we’re just about to launch a new brand identity and website for the network, developed by the team at Chapel Street Studios in Bradford. We’ll use this relaunch to increase our engagement with young people, building on our series of Lunch & Learn events over the last couple of months.

The next focus over the autumn is securing a three-year funding commitment to support the network rollout. If you know of any co-operative bodies who could support this youth network function, let us know.