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This 45-minute talk will look at harnessing values of post-COVID mutual aid groups.

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Thursday 25th March

4:30pm - 5:30pm

How to achieve legacy from social wealth generated through the COVID crisis tackling past community apathy?

Post-Covid recovery as an opportunity for retraining towards social and environmental enterprises.

Post-Covid recovery as an opportunity for transforming mutual aid groups into financially sustainable organisations in the third sector.

This 45 minute talk by practitioner and academic Torange Khonsari foregrounds how new thinking in the commons brings together all the fragmented concepts such as placemaking, co-production, social wealth-building, community empowerment and trust-building under one practical idea with different methodologies. Its application is timely when Covid-19 has changed the landscape of where we work, socialise, and foregrounds the importance of home security.

The commons are forms of practice (doing things) embedded in planetary care that supports citizen-led projects, programmes, and organisations based on horizontal power structures, empowerment, collaboration, sharing, and co-producing resources beneficial to society and the environment as a common good. In a new technological world how we financially sustain, and design for the environment is different and requires new skills. The commons puts focus on producers of the common good as communities and social entrepreneurs rather than volunteers. Those already empowered have been active social entrepreneurs but many are left behind. The commons produce environmentally conscious organisations and practices that are empowering and once established help empower others. Covid-19 has evidenced how mutual aid groups facilitated by institutions have entered into positive collaborative relationships. The commons as a holistic and financially sustainable form of social organising become about the legacy of these collaborations with diverse groups.

Using concrete case studies we will look at how the commons thinking can take centre stage post-Covid in developing, empowering, co-produced, and democratic Covid recovery policies and environmental programs. The talk concludes with the range of training programs offered to support such recovery programmes and opens up a discussion about what other training institutions may require.

This is the first lecture as part of a three-month public programme that offers practical solutions and projects developed by practitioners using commons thinking.

We hope to see you there!

Image credit: Elinor Ostrom in London, project by Public Works Ltd in collaboration with School 21 Art department.

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