The Institute for Solidarity Economics, in partnership with STIR Magazine, organised an important event in London, on the 18th October 2016: “Alternatives to Capitalism: The Solidarity Economy Perspective“. The event explored the Solidarity Economy Movement as a practical, humane and just alternative to capitalism, with a series of interventions by panelists drawn from different sectors of the economy, who discussed what they see already happening in the UK that could be called Solidarity Economics and what kinds of cross sectoral initiatives they think could work to link their sectors to others.
The keynote speaker was Michael Lewis, one of the founders of the RIPESS, and of the Community Economic Development movement in Canada. The other panelists were:
- Siôn Whellens, host and Master of Ceremonies, a co-op advocate and co-founder of the Worker Co-operative Solidarity Fund;
- Tony Greenham, Director of Economy, Enterprise and Manufacturing Programme at the Royal Society of Arts (RSA);
- Jane Grindey, founding member of Wolverton Community Energy;
- Ludovica Rodgers, Technology Commons activist and advocate of the platform cooperatives movement in the UK;
- Pat Conaty – Research Associate at Co-operatives UK;
- Lynne Davies -Member of the Land Workers’ Alliance;
- Jason Nardi – General Delegate of RIPESS – Solidarity Economy Europe network, and Solidarius Italy.
The panelists spoke about the current economic conditions in Britain and presented a movement of “economic organizing” that is defying the current system from the bottom up, in many countries around Europe and across the world. From the farmers of La Via Campesina, to the care workers of the Italian social co-operative movement, to the activists resisting the modern enclosure of our Commons, people around the world are coming together to build an economy that puts people and planet at its core.
The evening public meeting was preceded by a seminar at NEF – New Economics Foundation.