Elinor Ostrom & the Future of Community Power in the UK

In this webinar we will explore the lessons that can be drawn from the work of the brilliant Nobel Prize-winning political economist Elinor Ostrom, and their implications for the future of community-led work.

Ostrom’s insights could transform the way we think about society, the amount of trust we place in each other, and the future of how we get important things done. This goes beyond ‘commoning’ and into a wider world of autonomous, enabled, and self-governing communities. There will be big ideas, but also practical lessons for community organisers, mobilising citizens, public-facing VCSE and public servants, too. 

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  • An overview of Ostrom’s work and legacy
  • An exploration of Ostrom’s lessons for communities and localities
  • An exercise to apply Ostrom’s insights into your campaigns for community power
  • An exercise on the implications for sustainable local economic development
  • An understanding of why communities and neighbourhoods are capable of considerable internal trust and decision-making…
  • ...and how to help foster these desirable traits and make the most of them
  • The existing ways to give leverage to mobilised communities in England
  • The case for smaller-scale and more localised working in almost every area
  • An intellectually-grounded set of arguments to inform campaigns for community power
  • Community organisers at any level
  • Mutual aid participants or leaders
  • VCSE workers or volunteers involved in community development or local public services
  • Parish and Town Council representatives
  • Heads/directors/section managers of internal transformation, community engagement, public services in local authorities
  • Front-line public servants who are interested in coproducing and collaborating with communities
  • Campaigners for democratic and political reform
  • Students interested in voluntarism or practical applications of Ostrom’s work in the UK

Dr Simon Kaye has worked as a constituency organiser for a political party, a lecturer, an academic in some of London’s best universities, and has been working in think tanks for more than a decade. In 2018 he left academia to work full-time on policy, and he is now a Senior Policy Researcher at New Local, where his focus is on further developing the Community Paradigm workstream. In 2019 he published a major new report on the work of Elinor Ostrom and its wider implications for the UK, and co-authored an influential paper on the mutual aid groups that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is based in London with his wife, his toddler, and two cats.

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