Courses Overview >> Short courses >> People Power - Kickstart Economic Transition in your Community

People Power - Kickstart Economic Transition in your Community

Course dates: 
Monday, 20 August, 2018 to Friday, 24 August, 2018

With Andy Goldring and Jay Tompt

This course will prepare you to launch a process of citizen-led economic transition in your town or region.  You will have chance to join the movement forging ahead with a more resilient, inclusive, ecologically wise and regenerative system.  Based on the experience of the Totnes REconomy Project, this approach is accessible, practical and effective.  It has been developed successfully in dozens of other places in the UK, EU, and USA with whom you can connect to support your future work.

At a glance

  • Gain the practical skills to lead transformative economic change in your community.
  • Become part of a mutually supportive and innovative 'community of practice'
  • Join a growing international movement of changemakers, 'building the new in the shell of the old'


If we want a different kind of economic system that is fair and inclusive, ecologically wise, resilient and regenerative, then we must create the conditions for new economic actors, relationships and models to emerge and thrive. 

In this course we share the useful ideas and practical tools we have gained over the last seven years to help you put this into practice in your community. You will be able to develop place-based, citizen-led economic transition of the kind developing in Totnes and other places around the UK, EU, and USA. 

This involves:
• Catalysing a transition-oriented entrepreneurial culture
• Mobilising local and regional social and financial capital
• Building supportive and regenerative 'enterprising ecosystems'
• Weaving 'convergence networks' of diverse individuals and organisations across localities and regions

We'll explore how this approach is informed by permaculture thinking and extends to permaculture practice. We'll show how it provides an enabling framework for co-operators, commoners, social enterprisers, and the models they put forward. We'll put together a sound theory of change and development, weaving insights from systems, complexity, and network-theories and other sciences and practices. 

All of this we’ll do in ways that are fun, engaging, challenging and stimulating, with a mix of head, heart and hands activities. As a cohort, we'll become our own 'community of practice', meeting online in the months following the residential, and will be invited to join the international REconomy Community of Practice.

What will participants gain from taking part in this course?

• A thorough understanding of this approach, the 'Totnes experience' and evidence base, as well as examples from other places
• An understanding of how compatible models, such as social enterprise, cooperatives, 'Preston and Cleveland Models', solidarity economy, Community Land Trust, mutual credit systems and cooperatively-owned financial institutions fit together as part of an 'enterprising ecosystem'
• A robust set of practical tools and activities for implementing this approach, along with useful theories of change and development   
• Visits to local exemplar projects in Totnes
• How to design and run the 'Local Entrepreneur Forum' and other catalysing projects
• Confidence and leadership skills to be able to introduce and implement this approach in your own community and region
• New colleagues – the cohort will continue as a 'community of practice' for several months following the residential, with an invitation to join the international REconomy Community of Practice

Who is this course aimed at?

• Community organisers and network builders
• Permaculture practitioners
• Economic development and regeneration professionals
• Co-operators, commoners, social enterprisers and solidarity economy organisers
• 'New', 'transition', and 'solidarity' economists
• A wide range of grassroots activists working for culture change, economic inclusion, food sovereignty, renewable energy, sustainable living

Andy Goldring

Andy Goldring

Andy Goldring has been chief executive of the Permaculture Association for over 20 years.  During that time he has overseen the sustained development of the Permaculture Association and its capacity to deliver its aims.  He has developed a national demonstration network with over 120 centres across England and Scotland, a diploma scheme supporting over 400 apprentices and an active and growing research programme.  He is also responsible for hosting dialogue to take permaculture forwards internationally and facilitate the move towards a more eco-entrepreneurial direction for the Association.

Jay Tompt

Jay Tompt

Jay is a co-founder of the Totnes REconomy Project and associate lecturer in economics at Plymouth University.  He co-developed the Transition Network REconomy Project’s Local Economic Blueprint course and handbook, co-founded the REconomy Centre, and developed the Local Entrepreneur Forum model. He has worked with groups in many communities picking up these models. He has also developed a course on ‘Citizen-led Economics’, as well as led workshops and given talks in Europe, USA and Japan.

Before moving to the UK Jay was based in Silicon Valley in the US as an entrepreneur and consultant in the ‘green business movement’.  He holds an MBA from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and a BA in Philosophy from San Jose State University. He’s also a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

£ 695.00
NOTE: Course fees include all vegetarian meals, field trips, materials and all teaching sessions. The programme will run from Monday lunchtime to Friday afternoon and includes four nights private accommodation with shared bathroom.