Please send me SCA's fortnightly briefing:

< Back to '13th June 2018' briefing

June 13, 2018

Act as if you own the place

For the past year or so, a national campaign has been gradually building up a head of steam. The Act As If You Own The Place Campaign may not be the catchiest of titles but at least it has the merit of being relatively self-explanatory. All across the country communities have been holding events on the basis that they are ‘Acting as if they were the Council’ and deciding what they would do if they were in control of local decisions. Building on all that work, a mass event is being organised in Glasgow for later this month. The programme of speakers reads like a who’s who of the local democracy movement. If you’ve got a scintilla of interest in local democracy, this one is for you.


Electoral Reform Society

This major national conference starts with the premise that people should have collective power to make good things happen for themselves and their communities and to stop bad things happening. This is a simple definition of power. Democracy is the most equal distribution of that power possible.

The purpose of the event is to bring together citizens, activists, community groups, campaigns and unions to think about the challenges for democracy in the current political, social, and technological context and to attempt to collectively imagine the evolution of our current thinking, institutions and practice of democracy.

We will reach out to community groups, democratic innovators, academics, legislators, local and national politicians, civil servants, civil society activists, community organisers, political activists, futurists, artists and creators to imagine a new democracy. Paul Mason will address the conference – more speakers will be announced in due course.

From this, we aim to build an active community of people in Scotland and connected internationally who are interesting in helping create an improved version of democracy fit for a changed society. This network will be a source of shared experience, learning and advice for reformers inside and  outside the state as well as a source of pressure for change to current practices and institutions.

We will also launch a declaration that will shape the Local Democracy Bill. Developed by and for community activists – to advance an ambitious local government reform agenda.

The full programme will be out soon. Tickets are available now.


Speakers include :

Paul Mason, Journalist

Willie Sullivan, Electoral Reform Society

Katherine Trebeck, Wellbeing Economy Alliance

Adam Ramsay, Editor, Open Democracy

Kirsty Styles, Tech Nation

Kyle Taylor, Director Fair Vote

Amanda Burgaur, Scottish Rural Action

Geehan McLeod, Gal Gael

Vince Mills, Red Paper Collective

Neil McInroy, Centre for Local Economic Strategies

Pauline Grandison, Coalfields Regeneration Trust

Robin McAlpine, Director Common Weal

Doreen Grove, Open Government Partnership

Elena Tarifa Herrero, Community Engagement Executive, Barcelona en Comu

Darren ‘Loki’ McGarvey, Author, Poverty Safari

Sofi Taylor, Equality and Diversity lead, NHS Greater Glasgow

Nick Mahoney, Compass

Linda Somerville, Director, NUS Scotland

Layla-Roxanne Hill, Head of Engagement, The Ferret

Sarah Collins, Senior Policy Officer, STUC

Peter McColl, Nesta

Lesley Riddoch, Broadcaster and veteran local democracy advocate

Talat Yaqoub, Director, Equate Scotland