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STIR Issue 21, Spring 2018 - Community Organising: Back to its roots

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Stir to Action, avril 2018

Community Organising: Back to its roots — Stephanie Gamauf

« What would it look like if women designed financial services? What if coworking spaces were owned and run by BME communities? Last month the news platform Medium published a list of Black-owned coworking spaces in the US, including An Office in Detroit, ran by the entrepreneur Katrina Turnbow. In London, the Women’s Budget Group, a network of feminist economists, critically analyse UK government spending and make recommendations from a gender perspective. »

Out of the Goldilocks Zone: Can community energy survive? — Jon Hallé

« Policy change over the last two years has changed this balance and is endangering community energy, along with the wider green energy and climate defence agendas. The Feed-in Tariff scheme closes in April 2019 without any planned replacement, tax reliefs have already been lost, and English planning policy now effectively prevents almost all onshore wind turbines. »

Data Dystopia: The perils of Fintech — Tom Fisher

« When we fill in an online form – applying for a loan, for example – companies are more interested in how we fill in a form, rather than what we say on the form itself. Big Data Scoring, a cloud-based credit decision engine, uses cookies on lenders’ websites to gather data about how quickly you type your answers, what type of device you use, and your location. Many of us would not realise how powerful these data are in generating a picture of our lives, and determining our suitability for a product or service. »

Interview: Ruth Potts

« The mistake people often make with utopia is to see it as a destination, a fixed end point. Instead, utopia is the process of first imagining, and then believing that we can organise the world differently, which empowers us to take steps towards it. To dismiss utopia is to say that the way things currently are is the best that we can possibly do and we should just accept it. »