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.
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