Shift Birmingham

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

The programme is two hours per month and starts in January 2024, ending in September 2024.

Apply here (rolling application deadline).

You can also contact workshops[at] if you want us to run a taster session for your community, or read about how our last Shift Birmingham went.

  • Are you frustrated about inequality across Birmingham and would like to see your city and community do better?
  • Are you working to make this change happen (in either a voluntary or paid capacity)?
  • Are you worried about where the money can come from to address pressing issues across Birmingham?
  • Do you lack confidence to engage in this, and think that a better grasp of how decisions are made about “where the money goes” and how things could be different, could help you make the change you want to see in your community?
  • Would you like to feel more confident talking about all this, so you can lead conversations that will help to shift issues that matter to your community? 

If the answer to these questions is yes, then join Shift Birmingham.

Apply now

What you’ll get from the course


  • Understand the root causes of problems that impact you and your community- from housing, to climate justice to food poverty. 
  • Understand jargon used by decision makers, the media and others around the economy.
  • Discover ways to change our economic system so that it better meets your communities’ needs, through a) building alternatives, b) challenging decision makers and those with power, and c) empowering your community.


“I was inspired and empowered by the people around me. I didn’t expect that to be such a big thing when I first started.”
Fiona, participant of Shift Birmingham 2022-2023

Skills and networks

  • Connect with and get empowered by other passionate individuals across the city facing similar challenges in their communities, and bringing different experiences, identities and solutions.
  • Develop confidence and gain the language you need to express your ideas about what kind of economy you and your community wants and how it can be achieved.
  • Know how and where to find useful evidence about what’s not working and what would work better to help your community thrive.
  • Be able to identify how reliable and useful facts that you come across are.
  • Learn how to tell your story and the story of your community, and get it published- including in local media.
  • Identify who holds power to make change on various issues and feel confident to challenge them.
  • Explore and plan how you can take action on changing our economic system to it better meets your communities needs

Why now, and why the economy?

Birmingham faces many crises including housing, work, living standards, poverty and inequality.

With Birmingham City Council under financial crisis, the state of many services is under question.

Yet most people feel shut out of conversations about the economy, and unable to influence the economy around them. 

A 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

We’ll run two cohorts of up to twenty five people, one during the day time and one during the evening- you can let us know which one you’d prefer to attend. Each cohort will meet for two hours once a month.  

The first and last session will take place in Birmingham in person (venue tbc). Other sessions will be online on Zoom.

Note that People’s Economy reserves the right to cancel either of these courses if insufficient numbers of participants register.

Cohort 1 (Thursdays, 10-12pm):

11th Jan

8th Feb

7th Mar

4th April

2nd May

6th June

4th July

1st Aug

31st Aug

Cohort 2 (Tuesdays, 7-9pm):

23rd Jan

20th Feb

19th Mar

16th April

14th May

11th June

9th July

6th Aug

3rd Sept 

What the course includes

Online community space

Monthly online or offline learning sessions

Easy workbooks to help with your learning

Accountability buddy to support you to attend the course

One to one support from our facilitators

You will also be invited to optional on and offline sessions to help you build your skills around communicating about and influencing the economy.

This might include sessions helping you to create written and video content, upskilling you to engage with the media, or sessions bringing you together with decision makers like officers and politicians in the council.

Who’s the course for?

You don’t need to have studied these things before. All we ask is that you:

  • Are over 18 and live in Birmingham
  • Are working on or want to work on building a better city for yourself and your community- you might be organising around racial justice issues, campaigning on food poverty, pushing for better conditions in your workplace or housing association…or you might simply be a concerned citizen
  • Want to know more about the economic causes and solutions to issues you’re tackling
  • Are keen to connect with others across Birmingham working on various causes
  • Are committed to working in a way that tackles sexism, racism and other forms of oppression
  • Are able to commit to attending the sessions

We’re particularly keen to hear from people from communities who have historically had less power in the economy and people who have direct experience of the issues they are working on.

This might include people who are: carers, unhoused, single parents, living in a deprived area, working class, women or non-binary, Black, Asian, from an ethnic minority or people of colour.
We’re also keen to ensure that the programme includes people from across Birmingham. 

We have a small budget to support people with costs associated with attending the course, like childcare, where these costs are a barrier to attending the course.
There is space in the application form where you can let us know if you would like to request this.


“People don’t believe me when I say that this course on economics is accessible. I’m just open to learning- that’s all you need to be.”
Clare, participant of Shift Birmingham 2022-2023


How to apply

Complete our application form.

All eligible applicants will then be invited to a 30 minute phone call with us in November to assess suitability. Applicants will be informed whether they’re being invited to a phone call on a rolling basis.

We will prioritise applications from people from underrepresented groups. Places are limited, so be sure to submit your application as soon as possible. 


Please let us know when applying for the programme if you have any access needs or if we can make any adaptations to facilitate your participation in the programme.

Want our course to come to you?

If Shift Birmingham doesn’t match what you and your community needs, talk to us about how we can deliver a shorter training course or session face to face or online at a time and date that suits you.

We can work with you to tailor our courses to match your needs. For more information, please contact workshops[at]

Learn more about People’s Economy‘s mission.

Got a question for us?

Not sure if the programme is for you? Send us an email at workshops[at] to arrange a chat with us, find out more about the programme, and ask any questions you might have. We’d love to chat!

We are grateful to funding from the Barrow Cadbury Trust, which allows us to offer this programme for free.

                                               Barrow Cadbury Trust logo