Building community wealth from the ground up: Owned by Oxford at the Playground for the New Economy

Building community wealth from the ground up: Owned by Oxford at the Playground for the New Economy

On a beautiful sunny day in July, Owned by Oxford’s Jabu, Simon and Dianne headed down to Selgars Mill in Devon to attend a festival with a difference. 

Hosted by Stir to Action, the Playground for the New Economy festival programme includes panel discussions, workshops, sustainable food, and live music, all centred around the theme of what a different type of economy could look like – and how we can get there. 

Find out more about Stir to Action here.

The three-day residential setting creates the space for people with an interest in a more regenerative and democratic economy – community builders, activists, entrepreneurs – to build and form relationships, make connections, and challenge each other as a sector.

As Stir to Action founder Jonny Gordon-Farliegh says, “It’s about having big conversations in small rooms.”

Owned by Oxford came to learn and contribute to those conversations, but also to share and celebrate the work of our project so far with a workshop on the theme of “building community wealth from the grassroots up”. 

Following an introduction to the project we split into groups to explore three areas:

  • Redirecting power and resources to grassroots enterprises
  • Empowering community: our plans for the Barton Community Retrofit Coop 
  • Participatory place making: approach, authenticity, engagement. 

Our team were blown away by the interest and enthusiasm generated. Luckily we were in The Barn, rather than a “small room”, with more than 50 delegates joining in the conversations over the course of the session. The discussions highlighted a lot of shared experience across the networks and many new connections made – we’re looking forward to following up and collaborating over the next few months. 

Our takeaway? Wow – such solidarity and positivity! We came away energised and even more convinced of the importance of the Owned by Oxford grass-roots-led model. Next year we’ll bring a minibus and stay for the full three days!

Photo: © Pete Millson 2022. 07768 077353 — 12 July 2022.
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