San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Our economy is changing. We are looking for alternatives to the accepted capitalist norm. We are exploring new sustainable economic systems that have new values and behaviours. Some have argued that we are seeing the spontaneous rise of collaborative production: goods, services and organisations are appearing that no longer respond to the dictates of the market and the managerial hierarchy. The biggest information product in the world – Wikipedia – is made by volunteers for free, abolishing the encyclopedia business and depriving the advertising industry of an estimated $3bn a year in revenue. Parallel currencies, time banks, cooperatives and self-managed spaces have proliferated, barely noticed by the economics profession, and often as a direct result of the shattering of the old structures in the post-2008 crisis. For this seminar we have invited individuals involved or interested in new sustainable economies and less recognised modes of economic co-ordination to speak about their work. The speaker at this event will be:
Naomi works for Locality, the national network of ambitious and enterprising community-led organisations, working together to help neighbourhoods thrive. Based in Leicester, she has worked with numerous member organisations and partners in the Midlands supporting the development of viable and sustainable community enterprises, for example wind-farms, housing developments, community farms and other asset developments. For the last three years she managed the national Community Organisers Training Programme and is a strong believer in the power of people to make change happen locally. Before coming to Locality (formerly the Development Trusts Association), Naomi was involved in the local food sector and was a founder member of Leicestershire Food Links, a local food community enterprise running farmers markets and local food projects. She is a Board member of Soft Touch Arts, a youth arts charity which has recently taken over a vacant City centre building in Leicester and created a £1m Youth Arts and Heritage Centre.
David Boyle is the author of Broke: How to Survive the Middle Class Crisis (Foutrh Estate) published 16 Jan 2014. He was recently the government’s independent reviewer on Barriers to Public Service Choice (the Boyle Review, 2012-13), for the Cabinet Office and Treasury. He was part of the team at the New Economics Foundation which ran the successful ‘Clone Town Britain’ campaign (2004-10), which changed the language and shifted the debate about high streets. He has been at the heart of the effort to develop co-production and introduce time banks to Britain as a critical element of public service reform. He was co-author of three key reports for NESTA in 2009/10, The Challenge of Co-production, Public Services Inside Out and Right Here, Right Now which set out co-production as a practical way forward for UK services. David is the author of a number of books about history, social change and the future of money. His book Authenticity: Brands, Fakes, Spin and the Lust for Real Life (Flamingo, 2003) helped put the search for authenticity on the agenda as a social phenomenon. The Tyranny of Numbers (Flamingo, 2001) and The Sum of Our Discontent (Texere, 2001) predicted the backlash against the government’s target culture. Funny Money: In search of alternative cash (Flamingo, 1999) launched the time banks movement in the UK. He was a member of the federal policy committee of the Liberal Democrats (1998-2012).
Kathrin Böhm is an artist and founding member of the London-based art and architecture collective public works, and the pan-European artist initiative myvillages.org. Projects are produced collaboratively and within the public realm. Kathrin is interested in the possible production of public space through art led formats of production and trade, where polarised producer and consumer roles can be interrupted and re-envisaged. She considers economy as a public realm where values are being produced and negotiated, and is particularly interested in collective processes to replace individualised ones. In the Press Release for "Trade Show" an exhibition she recently co-curated with Gavin Wade they clearly stated their interest of entering a discussion about economics:
‘Trade Show’ is a group exhibition that exercises the function of art to exchange, present and enact different economic practices and cultures of trade. Over the last decades artists have claimed and reclaimed trade as a socio-cultural space by producing their own shops, swaps, stalls, deals, exchange centres and distribution systems.In ‘Trade Show’ art and trade exist as universal activities deeply embedded in almost everything we do. Art proposes and enacts forms of trade that remind us of the possibilities and complexities of living in a society where everything must mean something, and everything must be worth something. ‘Trade Show’ contributes to a strong trading culture where roles are changeable, economies are collaborative and the imperative of a not-only-for-profit ethos prevails."
This extends into her current project as part of Myvillages, 'Company: Movements, Deals and Drinks' which is being developed in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and aims to bring the many different aspects of drinks production back into a locally embedded and connected chain of production. Through her commission for Market Town Kathrin will continue to investigate the economy as a familiar and everyday realm that we are all part off, and which is not only used for commercial but also for social and cultural exchange.
This is one of a number of workshops/seminars that are being organised as part of the current Market Town programme. They are intended to further investigate the themes explored in the main commissions, and to further engage the local community in the debate about the future of Loughborough.
When & Where
LU Arts is Loughborough University's arts programme and offers staff, students and the wider community a range of arts activities to see, get involved in and enjoy.
Over the academic year LU Arts presents, in a variety of venues across campus, a series of live music and literature events by internationally recognised performers, companies and writers, National Theatre Live screenings and Radar, a programme of contemporary art commissions, talks and films themed around the research activity of the University.