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New forms of economic activism

Changing practices by cultivating the capacity to observe

Published onSep 08, 2020
New forms of economic activism

At present much of my work revolves around cultivating new forms of economic activism. This means I turn away from ‘analysing and measuring’ data, and towards immersing myself in the experience of critical scenes of everyday economic life. I draw attention to striking moments, noticing the details of what is occurring, finding ways of showing others what was previously unremarked, exploring the significance of such details with others, and opening the way for different pathways of practice and action. 

I often find myself working in start-ups and/or organisations and projects for social and ecological benefit. Currently, I am Trustee of the Schumacher Society, the Sharpham Trust (an educational charity to create a more mindful, compassionate and environmentally-sustainable world), a founding member of Oats (evolving our local wholefood store into a healthy living cooperative, owned and governed by the community), and working with the Gross National Happiness Centre in Bhutan to create transformative learning journeys towards right livelihood.

My approach may lead to decisions to share resources differently, or to experiment with a new form of livelihood.  As a researcher I closely track the unfolding process of noticing, drawing attention to, showing and encouraging new practices and actions.  This reveals and opens different pathways for economies to take shape and form, and intensifies movements that are already happening that foster well-being within economic life.  

My practice is more akin to ‘silent transformations’ that shape, influence and intensify what is already happening, rather than revolutions that are loud, imposing and conflictual.  This type of economic activism involves cultivating observational capacities, dynamic and associative thinking, and ways of acting and communicating that resonate with others.

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