In this Annual Review of 2020, we recount our work in what was an extraordinary year. During 2020, we focussed much of our work on climate change, and we are currently supporting a number of Local Authorities in implementing Climate Emergency inquiries.
With funding from the Place-based Climate Action Network (PCAN), an ESRC supported network that brings together the research community and decision-makers in the public, private and third sectors, Shared Future CIC has published a guide for local authorities and other bodies. The guide aims to support local authorities and other bodies thinking of commissioning a citizens’ assembly or jury. It considers how such processes might address the climate emergency, what is involved and approaches to design and delivery.
There are two viruses affecting our world. The Covid19 pandemic and racism. One natural, one manmade. Both affecting some more than others. People centred approaches are at the heart of building back better. Public bodies can support and enable resilient communities and tackle social injustice by putting public money at the disposal of citizens; to better serve their needs, and to rebuild trust in our government and between people.
We’re excited to see the birth of numerous new community led mutual aid groups eager to help their neighbours. Every neighbourhood has tremendous people with untapped skills and experience.
When we join together we are a vital lifeline for those who are bearing the brunt of Covid-19; whether for those physically distancing themselves or those who might not have access to the support they need in this crisis.
Getting and keeping people together is however sometimes easier said than done. At Shared Future our long experience of community development and community organising suggests that there are certain things to be thinking about when undertaking a much-needed community-led response.
Thirty local people are helping to develop a new action plan to tackle one of the biggest issues facing the world today – climate change. Lancaster City Council has convened a People’s Jury on climate change, a pioneering way of involving ordinary people in advising the council and others on how best to combat the problem. Shared Future CIC are facilitating the Peoples’ Jury, which is being held at the Storey Institute in Lancaster over February and March 2020
‘What should Leeds do about the emergency of climate change?’ This was the question that 25 randomly selected residents from across the Leeds city region agreed to thrash out over nine sessions between September and November 2019. Their bold recommendations make fascinating reading; taking back control of the local bus services into public ownership, the halting of local airport expansion, retrofitting of housing through local social enterprises and more.
There is overwhelming evidence that we are in a climate emergency. Government can seem paralysed in the face of this complex issue. This report outlines some possible ways to make some progress, based on our experience and knowledge of participatory approaches, which put citizens into the driving seat of decision-making whilst improving transparency and governance at a local authority level.