Shift Birmingham

Our free training programme for people across Birmingham, explores how power and resources in the city can be rebalanced to improve local economies across Birmingham. 

The programme started in July 2022 and ends in June 2023.

Applications to join the programme are now closed. Read this blog to find out how the course is going.and learn about some of our course participants.

What Shift participants get from the course


  • Understand and get confident about economic causes and solutions to problems across the city, from housing, to climate justice to food poverty. 
  • Understand, challenge and explore alternatives to how decision makers and the media think about the economy.
  • Develop strategies to shift the economy so that it better meets communities’ needs and priorities. How can working conditions be improved, for example?

Skills and networks

  • Build strong networks with and learn from other people creating change across the city.
  • Lead and take part in conversations asking what kind of economy their community wants and how it can be achieved.
  • Learn how to produce and publish content for publication in various channels including local media (optional).
  • Identify who has power to make change on various issues and how they can influence them.

Why now, and why the economy?

Birmingham faces many crises including housing, work, living standards and poverty and inequality. The economy connects all of these issues. Through the economy, goods and services that we rely on are produced and exchanged, and income and wealth are created and distributed. 

How we organise the economy shapes our health and wellbeing and the sustainability of the planet. Yet, most people feel shut out of the conversation, and unable to influence the economy around them. A recent poll from Opinium showed only 1 in 5 people living across the Midlands feel they can influence decisions about the economy that affect their lives.

When and where

The first and last session take place in Birmingham in person. Other sessions take place on Zoom. Dates of the core sessions are:

  • Tuesday 19th July ’22 9.30am- 12pm in person
  • Tuesday 13th September ’22 10am-12pm on Zoom
  • Tuesday 11th October ’22 10am-12pm on Zoom
  • Tuesday 8th November ’22 10am-12pm on Zoom
  • Tuesday 10th January ’23 10am-12pm on Zoom
  • Tuesday 7th February ’23 10am-12pm on Zoom
  • Tuesday 7th March ’23 10am-12pm on Zoom
  • Tuesday 4th April ’23 10am-12pm on Zoom
  • Tuesday 2nd May ’23 in person 9.30am- 12pm (venue tbc)

There are also be additional optional online sessions building skills around creating written and video content, and how to engage with the media.

We’re spacing the sessions throughout the year to give participants time to get to know, learn from and build strong relationships with each other, helping to build power together and create a broader movement for the change.

How to apply


Applications are now closed.


We are grateful to funding from the Barrow Cadbury Trust and Birmingham City Council’s Neighbourhood Development & Support Unit, which allows us to offer this programme for free.

Barrow Cadbury Trust logoLogo for Birmingham City Council Neighbourhood Development & Support Unit