Community-led economic change

The biggest issues facing our communities, from the escalating climate crisis to housing insecurity, are rooted in and shaped by our current economic systems.

Yet most of us feel excluded and alienated from economic policy and unable to influence the economy around us.

This means that we often don’t have the tools we need to address the root causes of some of the biggest and most urgent problems that we face.

We need to come together to develop a shared understanding and analysis of how economic systems work to build the power of our communities and create economic change.

People’s Economy works with those at the sharpest end of the economy to shape a fairer, more sustainable alternative together.

Why change is needed

Our economy, both within the UK and worldwide, is currently set up to reproduce and deepen inequalities and environmental harm.

Therefore, societies must rapidly reimagine and structurally transform their economies to meet everyone’s needs – within planetary boundaries – and allow future generations to flourish, regardless of their gender, race, background or birthplace.

Our vision

We have three principles which we believe a ‘good economy’ should achieve:


Distributes and decentralises economic decision-making power widely, providing mechanisms for participation and accountability.


Reduces socioeconomic inequality, repairs historical harm and dismantles systems of oppression such as racism, sexism and elitism so that everybody can have an equal chance in life.


Operates within the natural and environmental limits of the planet while meeting everybody’s needs.

Who leads the way

It’s important to us to be run by and for people experiencing economic injustice.

Every day all over the UK, people are working to change things and keep themselves and their communities afloat. 

These are the people who are on the front line of dealing with the harm the current economic system is creating.

But we know that these are the groups who are often already doing the work of organising things differently. They won’t always be consciously connecting this change work to the underlying economic system. Perhaps that is because it feels like it can’t be changed, or because there isn’t enough time or resources, or because the knowledge feels hard to access, or because of feeling isolated.

 That’s where People’s Economy comes in. We aim to build power together – by supporting the process of making economic links and communicating them, connecting with others and supporting movements to grow.

What we’re doing now

We support communities experiencing economic injustice to: 

— imagine, understand, analyse and plan the economic change they want to see

— take action to empower themselves and their communities, build alternatives and influence dominant institutions.

We also develop and spread practice that facilitates effective bottom-up economic change work across government, media and new economy organisations.

Learn more about our different areas of work below.

“The word economy scares me. If you’ve always been skint you do feel excluded from the conversation about money. Throughout the course I got really mad. Talking about money and who holds the power. We spoke about how women still do most of the labour in the house… That lightbulb moment for all of us was that this should be valued. This amazing woman who is a carer for three children and a parent said I’m unemployed. After I said to her you’re overemployed you’re just not paid for it. If people just had a conversation there are so many more who would feel so much more empowered. They are participating in the economy but the whole way it is set up doesn’t value them. So many people feel excluded.”

We have run courses and workshops across the UK for over a thousand people, supporting and empowering them to understand, reimagine and change the economy.

Our community education builds practical knowledge, skills and confidence around economic concepts that underpin the most pressing social issues of today — from housing to climate change,

migration and the cost of living. Through stories and reflection we make economics accessible and relevant to people’s lives. 

Together, we can build a shared analysis of the economic root causes of pressing issues, and develop strategies to shift the economy so that it better meets our needs and priorities.

Invite us to run a workshop or course

Attend an upcoming event or workshop

We build deep relationships with people across the UK who are experiencing economic injustice and working to achieve social, environmental and political change but not currently linking their work to the economy.

We highlight the connections between issues which matter to them and the economy, and facilitate links with others creating change to build practical engagement with new economy organisations and explore opportunities for long-term collaboration. 

We also facilitate practical, focused engagement with economic decision makers.

I now believe knowledge of economics is vital as it can help change my future by being more vocal with my thoughts and feelings… It’s important people my age should get something like this as it gives them the knowledge and power to make change.”

Year 12, Course Graduate

I didn’t feel like I was talking economy-economy, like in the scary way where you feel like you should have a degree. If I was on some finance program on the BBC, I would have looked like a moron. But with you guys, it’s a conversation where we’re talking about things that are to do with finances, but also to do with life.

Marianne, Contributor

As part of our ‘Voices of the Economy’ project, our editorial team co-produce written and video content (comment, analysis, local news) with grassroots changemakers for social, local and national media.

We are working with media partners to develop, test and scale this work into a flexible and sustainable infrastructure which facilitates changemakers creating multimedia content to become  authentic and trusted public voices on the economy.

We run our own news and entertainment platform ( that is modelling a new way to teach economic concepts and report economic news. We are also directly delivering this content through our newsletter

We believe economic policymaking should be a discussion about what we value and how to achieve it. That requires more citizen participation and deliberation in the media, economic institutions, academic research and politics. We are working with these institutions and decision makers to explore how we can build more participatory approaches to economic decision making at local and national levels.

We’re currently delivering a six-month pilot partnership with the Bank of England to engage their Citizens’ Reference Panel and Youth Forum community members online in a vibrant and inclusive conversation about the economy.

Since 2019 we have been supporting people in local communities across the West Midlands – particularly those furthest from power – to shape the economy to achieve what matters to them.

This forms part of a five year regional strategy to engage local economic decision-makers, media organisations and communities to achieve bottom-up and top-down change. It takes a place-based approach, meaning it recognises the places in which we live and work influence what we do and determine many of our relationships.

Our approach builds on existing work in the region and is led by the priorities, needs and strengths of the communities and civil society organisations we partner with. This involves:

  • Reframing what the economy is and how it relates to our lives to spark curiosity and learn about what economic issues matter to people;
  • Empowering people to lead their own conversations asking what people want, need and would be prepared to do to improve their local economy;
  • Influencing local media strategies to build engaging coverage of local economic issues that connects to people’s everyday lives;
  • Building towards more participatory forms of economic policymaking by facilitating two-way conversations between communities, economic experts and decision makers to increase mutual understanding and strengthen relationships.

If you would like to find out more about this work, or to get involved, get in touch with clare.birkett[at]

From field work to focus groups, interviews to videos, our research asks how people feel about the economy, and investigates how economics can be a positive part of everyone’s lives.

Our team have also authored several books about the economy:

What’s the economy? (Bloomsbury)

Reclaiming economics for future generations (Manchester University Press)

The Econocracy (Manchester University Press)

Learn more about our previous research