Mapping the Solidarity Economy in Oxford

Between October 2018 and early 2019 we’re piloting a community mapping process that will result in a digital map of Oxford’s solidarity economy.

Oxford has a whole host of organisations, projects and people working to create a just and sustainable city. From swap shops and childcare circles to housing co-ops and community farms, we’ve got a thriving network of initiatives meeting the needs of our communities in ways that put people, and our environment, first.

Around the world, activity like this is known as the solidarity economy. In many cities and countries – from New York City to Barcelona, and from Mali to Brazil – solidarity economy initiatives play a fundamental role in people’s lives.

In New York City, a group of people came together to create a map of their solidarity economy, and this map has helped to make their city’s communities more connected, their projects and initiatives stronger, and has helped more people to be able to access the products and services they need in ethical and sustainable ways.

We’re exploring whether creating a map in Oxford is similarly helpful for our communities.

A big part of SEA’s mission is to make the solidarity economy in the UK stronger, and to encourage more people to find out about it and support in their local area. Our Mapping the Solidarity Economy in Oxford pilot project is about celebrating what’s important in our city’s communities, and showing how all the different projects, initiatives and organisations are helping to create a more just and sustainable world.

The project is part of our wider Mapping the Solidarity Economy work, and at the end of this pilot project, we’ll have produced a digital map in Oxford that will help everyone be stronger and better connected.

What is the solidarity economy?

The solidarity economy is made up of lots of different types of activity: informal meetings, grassroots organisations, and local community groups, through to legally-recognised businesses, associations and networks of organisations. Click here to find out more.

What will we be doing?

Between October 2018 and early 2019 we’re working with different communities across the city to create a digital map of Oxford’s solidarity economy.

We’re doing this because we want to:

  • celebrate what’s happening in our communities;
  • help local people find and support local projects and initiatives; and
  • help projects and initiatives work together.

We also hope to discover whether this mapping could be useful, and work for, other areas around the UK, and share what we learn with other people interested in doing the same thing.

Our longer-term vision is also to show how the solidarity economy that exists in our communities, cities and regions around the UK are part of a much bigger movement of people all over the world doing similar things.

How will we do it?

During the pilot, we’ll be meeting with many community leaders, projects and organisations within the city to talk to them about what they need from a project like this. We’ll be collecting information about the things that are happening here, and putting them on a digital map that we’ll publish towards the end of the pilot.

We’ll also be finding ways of helping projects that need it to tell their own stories about what they are doing in their communities, and we’ll be documenting our process as we go along.

How can I get involved?

Be on the map!

We need your help to create our digital map of Oxford’s solidarity economy – all of the grassroots organisations, informal meetings, neighbourhood projects, local community groups, co-ops, associations and networks in our city that are working towards the same values.

If you are part of an initiative and would like to be on the map, please click the button below to answer a few questions about your project. But, before you do so, please note:

  • We are asking initiatives to self-nominate (using this short survey) if they feel they are fulfilling, or are working towards fulfilling, some or all of the values of the solidarity economy.
Put me on the map!

Invite a project to be on the map

We need your help to spread the word as far as we can about this! If you think there’s an initiative that should be on the map, you can copy and paste the text and link below to invite them to fill in our short survey.

Cut and paste this text into an email and send it to your contacts!

The Solidarity Economy Association is working on a project to map Oxford’s solidarity economy – all of the organisations, projects and people working to create a just and sustainable city, meeting the needs of our communities in ways that put people, and our environment, first. They want to celebrate what’s happening in our communities; help local people find and support local projects and initiatives; and help projects and initiatives work together. They’re asking people who would like to be on this map to fill in this survey. More information about the project, and the Solidarity Economy Association, is here.

Talk to us

If you’d like to chat to us about what we’re doing in more detail, we’d love to hear from you. We’re based in Oxford and will happily come to meet you, or we’re always available via phone and email. Doireann Lalor and Audrey Versteegen are working on this pilot, and they can be contacted on doireann@solidarityeconomy.coop and audrey@solidarityeconomy.coop (please note they work part-time). There’s always someone available in the office to take your calls or emails on the following contact details, though:

  • email: info@solidarityeconomy.coop
  • phone: 07983 390434

Come along to our launch event

Once we’ve collected all of the information we need, we’ll be bringing everyone together to celebrate being on the map, and to showcase the fantastic range of solidarity economy initiatives that are thriving in our city. More details coming soon – watch this space!