Economy and Business Working Group Meeting – Wednesday 7 May 2008

TTBrixton:
Where: The Melanin Partnership at Piano House

When: 6:30pm

Present:

Sue Bell
Jody Boehnert
Mamading Ceesay
Robert Geddis
Duncan Law
Hannah Lewis
Josh Ryan-Collins
John Walker
Apologies:

Balbir Singh
Saskia Walzel
MONEY AS DEBT Monday 12 May 7pm, Myth Bar, The Hope and Anchor, Acre Lane

Sue agreed to ask Peter Challen (of the Christian Council for Monetary Justice and former secretary of the Forum for Stable Currencies) to be the “expert witness” for the Q&A session following the film.

NEW EVENT Date tbc – before the conference

Charlie Davis has agreed to run a workshop with Sue before the conference. St Vincent’s Community Centre was suggested as a suitable venue. If booked by Monday the event can be advertised at the Money As Debt screening. The Comms group will also be asked to help with publicity.

BRIXTON BRICK IN THE FT MAGAZINE! John Walker was interviewed for an article in the Financial Times magazine last weekend – also appears as a blog entry (3 May) here: http://blogs.ft.com/undercover/ (incidentally it’s by Tim Harford, whose book The Undercover Economist was previously recommended by Sue)

LOCAL ECONOMY DAY

1. PLANNING AND OUTCOMES

It was agreed that clarification was needed on what the outcomes of the conference should be. The group brainstormed outcomes we would like to achieve.

[This brainstorm ended up including a wide range of different types of “wishes” which Sue suggested could be distinguished into aims, outcomes and outputs – though there was not time to do this in the meeting. I have since had a go at categorising them and added a category called approaches, below - Hannah].

We also went round the group with each person saying the one thing that was most important to them about the day – which showed remarkable consensus, each person having a different emphasis but all seconding everybody else’s aims. Sue noted these here: http://www.transitiontownbrixton.org/2009/01/local-economy-day-aims/I have also added them to the list below under aims.

AIMS: what we want to do during the day

raise local awareness
cover the basics of the financial system and local economics – a kind of “curriculum” / “primer” to get everybody on the same page
explore examples of what works around the world and in TT Totnes
explore “how can localised economics work here?” and “what’s in it for locals?”
give message to audience of macro to micro perspective / big picture to how to do it locally [Jody]
show that we can design the economy differently and better [Hannah]
gauge local business response and empower collaboration [Josh]
let people know that local currency is a possibility [Robert]
build an economy as if people mattered [Duncan]
become aware of what we are doing together [Sue]
show why local community is valuable using exchange of skills and resources [John]
engage local people to make a real impact [Mamading]
OUTCOMES: what we want to emerge as a result of the day

engagement and inspiration
to be nearer knowing “how to do” localised economics
OUTPUTS: tangible things we want to have by the end of the day

more local people signed up to take local economic projects forward
audit of spare capacity and assets of those attending [businesses / other orgs / individuals?]
visuals / artefacts to represent the ideas discussed (design workshop – Jody and Hannah)
APPROACHES: strategies for achieving the above

focus on the realities of people’s lives, ask questions – “have you noticed that food prices are going up?” etc
“explore / discover” the issues and possibilities collectively – not “tell” people what to do
mixing, contact between different sectors – business, public, education, third sector, individuals – anything that contains value locally
using all modalities – visual, auditory, kinaesthetic
Duncan has now added extensively to the list of aims at http://www.transitiontownbrixton.org/2009/01/local-economy-day-aims/… if anyone wants to add / recategorise the list of aims that’s the page to do it.

2. PROGRAMME

The “bones” of a programme (accessible to the public) is at: http://www.transitiontownbrixton.org/2010/12/local-economy-day-3/ and is evolving…

Speakers: David Boyle and Molly Scott Cato have it in their diaries (Josh to confirm with David Boyle and Duncan to confirm with Molly Scott Cato). Both are excellent for “big picture money” bit. David Boyle could also cover some of the “local solutions from around the world” part. Duncan will also contact John Rogers to confirm him as a third speaker, concentrating on the “local solutions” part; also to run a “Growing Local Money” workshop (both day and evening?) and to circulate during open space discussions.

Josh agreed to chair the day and introduce speakers.

3. FUNDING

We are not allowed to charge for entry because the hall has been provided for free. However, it may be that we are allowed to charge just to cover costs – Jody / Duncan to confirm this with the Town Hall.

As a solution it is planned that we will not charge people for entry, but encourage them to become “supporting members” of TTB for £15 per year.

4. OUTREACH

Outreach was split into several sectors to ensure we identify the “low hanging fruit” in all sectors and get a broad mix at the event.

Hannah has edited the prospectus text in response to comments from Balbir, Duncan and John – updated version is at: http://www.transitiontownbrixton.org/2009/01/local-business-prospectus-draft2/Please edit wiki / send comments to hannah.lewis[at]yahoo.co.uk. Hannah is also working on text for a general leaflet about the conference, based on what’s been said about aims (the prospectus is directed specifically at businesses, focusing on the networking evening rather than the conference).

Hannah and Jody will collaborate on text and graphics for both business prospectus and conference leaflet, and get them to print by Mon 19 May.

BUSINESS: Robert and Josh offered to organise distribution of publicity materials to local shops and businesses – meeting people face to face and engaging them in discussion to gauge response to these issues and ideas.

Mamading has met with Philippe of Brixton Green and will continue to engage with the various business advice and support networks.

Duncan has asked Philippe to organise a meeting with 4-5 local businesses during Simon Snowden’s visit (14 May) to discuss piloting Oil Vulnerability Auditing.

Sue has spoken to representatives of the Local Traders Association [and other assoc?] who spoke of the predominance of illegal trade in the market area (below minimum wage, using extended family, squatted space etc). We need to consider whether we have limits to engaging with illegal traders (would we include drug dealers for example?), and how we could practically engage people with the Transition initiative in circumstances where immediate survival is the main issue.

PUBLIC: Duncan and Josh will focus on outreach to the public sector, including relevant council departments (such as Keith Trotter of Corporate Regeneration Dept – already in contact) and the health sector such as Maudsley Hospital and PCT. Robert also has relevant contacts / knowledge here (e.g. CLG – Communities and Local Government – http://www.communities.gov.uk/).

Duncan and Simon Snowden will meet with Lambeth (14 May) to discuss Oil Vulnerability Auditing.

THIRD SECTOR: Duncan will focus on the third sector via LVAC.

EDUCATION: Robert and Jody will focus on the education sector.

CREATIVE AND MEDIA: Jody will focus on creatives and journalists.

5. FOOD

With their £15 “supporting membership” attendees will receive 1 Brick which will give them £1 off lunch at participating local cafes. Honest Foods are already signed up.

ACTION POINTS

NB some are for more than one person so don’t just look under your own name!

Sue:

Invite Peter Challen to Money As Debt [done]
Book St Vincent’s for workshop with Charlie Davis and advertise event at Money As Debt
Jody:

Outreach to creatives and media
Jody and Hannah:

Text and graphics for business prospectus and conference leaflet
Develop design workshop for conference
Josh:

Speak to David Boyle
Robert and Jody:

Outreach to education
Robert and Josh:

Outreach to local shops and businesses
Duncan:

Confirm with Molly Scott Cato and John Rogers
Check with Town Hall whether we can charge entry to cover costs
Engage with LVAC
Duncan and Josh:

Outreach to council and health sector
Mamading:

Outreach to business advice and support networks

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