With Peter & Annabelle Macfadyen and Susanna Rustin
Thursday 1st February, 6.30pm: drinks and buffet at Gaia House, 7.30pm – 9pm: talk and discussion at Burgh House. Book tickets here.
Democracy is broken and most of us have never felt more disillusioned and disempowered by the political system. Across the planet we see ecological and social crises escalating, exacerbated by the growing extremism of the dominant political and economic institutions. Whilst we could wallow and worry at the state of things, we could also be inspired by local people taking action and reclaiming politics from the bottom up, for a more ecologically and socially just world for all. From Cajamarca to Barcelona, Frome to Queens Park – local people are sowing the seeds of the future from outside of the current system.
As part of our trilogy of events exploring just and locally led solutions, we welcome Peter & Annabelle Macfadyen and Susanna Rustin to talk about their experiences in doing just that.
Annabelle and Peter will tell the story of Frome, where an increasingly emboldened community has developed a new relationship with local government to reject austerity and work towards reclaiming politics. Peter’s practical book and blog – Flatpack Democracy – have helped the message spread far and wide.
Guardian journalist Susanna Rustin will share her story of reclaiming the old parish council in Queen’s Park, London, proving that a similar model can be used to reclaim the power in the biggest cities too.
These are exciting approaches for uncertain times and we hope you can join us for a lively talk and discussion.
About the speakers:
Peter is author of Flatpack Democracy, a book capturing the process developed by local people from the small town of Frome to take back control of the town council, for the wellbeing of the land and the local people. He has worked for ecological and social justice for 35 years, largely with Comic Relief. Back home, he founded Sustainable Frome and is a Director of Frome’s new Renewable Energy Co-op.
Annabelle is a social activist, community artist and creative educator. She has grown roots in Frome over 30 years and played leading roles in a wide range of community groups in the town.
Susanna Rustin is a writer and editor at the Guardian. She is an active member of the Queen’s Park Community Council and has been at the centre of regaining recognition for the rights of the Parish.