What might Campaigning for the Common Good look like?

Last week, we launched our new mentoring programme for economic justice campaigners – ‘Campaigning for the Common Good’, in partnership with nef (New Economics Foundation).

We’re bringing together 20 economic justice campaigners from across unions, faith groups, NGOs and grassroots movements to develop their knowledge of the failings of our current economic model and political system; understand the shape of a new economics; refine and develop their campaign strategies for systemic change and, last but certainly not least, build their own leadership potential.

So who’s participating?

  • Compass: An ideas and action based pressure group with over 50,000 members and supporters around the country
  • Move Your Money UK: National campaign to spread the message that we, as individuals, can help to build a better banking system through our buying power
  • UK Feministas: Supports people to campaign for a world where women and men are equal
  • Quakers: Their Sustainability and Peace programme helps Quakers and others to live more sustainable lives and to explore the connections between sustainability, economics and peace
  • The Contextual Theology Centre: Exists to equip churches to engage with their communities
  • People & Planet: UK students campaigning to end world poverty, defend human rights and protect the environment
  • 38 Degrees: One of the UK’s biggest campaigning communities, with over 1 million members, coming together to decide which issues we campaign on and actions to achieve that
  • TSSA: The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association – is the union for people in transport and travel.
  • Unite: Britain’s biggest union with 1.5 million members in every type of workplace
  • Wales TUC: The voice of Wales at work, with almost 50 affiliated trade unions & nearly half a million workers
  • We Own It: A voice for everyone who wants public services to be run for people, not profit
  • Positive Money: Raising awareness of our current monetary policies and campaigning for monetary reform

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What did we do at our first workshop?

We held the first out of five full day workshops at Chartered Accountants’ Hall – aka ICAEW headquarters last Thursday.

This first session gave us a chance to get to know everyone and understand what each campaign is really about. The aim of this session was to explore the systemic issues we’re facing, and explore what civil society is already doing to respond to this.

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We also had a neoclassical economics 101 with several presentations from nef. We ended the day with a tour of the city where we visited key institutions and heard a historical account of how we got to where we are today.

We quickly realised that while there was an incredible range of issues these campaigners focus on in the room, we all have something to learn from one another. And while the end game might be different for each, there are many crucial steps we can collaborate on at the start.

We couldn’t help but be inspired by the kinds of people in the room – all passionate about and proactively trying to create positive change.

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What’s next?

Our next session will consist of two day retreat in the Lake District, focusing on leadership. We can’t wait to see everyone again!