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 growing network of organisations, projects and initiatives who are working to create a fairer, socially just, and environmentally sustainable city. Around the world, activity like this is known as the solidarity economy. It thrives in many cities and countries – from New York City to Barcelona, and from Mali to Brazil.

Solidarity economy initiatives share a set of values and have been created to meet a need within their community, or broader society, that isn’t being met by our mainstream economy, or because those needs are being met in unethical or unsustainable ways. From swap shops and childcare circles to housing co-ops and community farms, these initiatives are meeting the needs of communities in ways that put people, and our environment, first.

If you think this sounds like your initiative, you’re very likely already part of creating an alternative economy for our city – one that’s based on co-operation and self-determination; one that empowers everyone, regardless of their race, sexual orientation, gender or background; and one that has the health and wellbeing of people and planet at its heart.

Click here to put your initiative on the map!

What are we doing?

We believe that the first step to strengthening our solidarity economy is to help people understand it better and to help those working within it to support each other. We’re collecting information (data) from grassroots organisations, informal meetings, neighbourhood projects, local community groups, co-ops, and associations that share the values of the solidarity economy and using it to create a digital map and directory. This digital map and directory will be available on a special website we are creating, called SolidarityOxford, that will also contain other information, including inspiring stories and video case studies.

This work is part of a wider project to map the solidarity economy across the whole of the UK. For more information, visit https://www.solidarityeconomy.coop.

What is the solidarity economy?

Solidarity economy initiatives are all working towards building a just and sustainable world, and they share a set of values. They are: committed to equal decision making; actively oppose all forms of oppression (both in society and in the initiative itself); committed to ecological sustainability; seek to act in solidarity and actively uphold, support and promote co-operation, sharing, altruism, love and caring over individualism, competitiveness and division. They all share a commitment to transforming our economic system into one that serves everyone and the planet.

Why are we doing this?

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.

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 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.

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 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.

Click here to put your initiative 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:

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