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Building Community Wealth

June 7 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

FREE but booking required - see entry for details
  • Date and time:Friday 7 June 2024, 11.30am to 1pm
  • Location:In-person only
    Central Methodist Church, St Saviourgate York (Map)
  • Admission:Free admission, booking required
  • Wheelchair accessible

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Event details

Our interactive session, which is supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, explores the question ‘how can we reimagine our resources and civic assets for public and common benefit, fit for the times we are in?’ 

Together, we’ll discuss opportunities to support community wealth building and democratic participation to foster more equitable community-led economic approaches in York.

Our expert panel of speakers includes Frances NorthropHead of Community Economic Power at the New Economics Foundation; Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Leader of Islington Council; Natasha Almond, Director of the Good Organisation; Martin O’Neill of the University of York’s Department of Philosophy, whose research focuses on moral and political philosophy; and Helen Jones and Ben Porter of the New Constellations York Crew, a group of York citizens and community leaders brought together to explore alternative futures for York.

Come along and join in the conversation as we reimagine the future of wealth.

This event is part of the Festival Focus ‘Reimagining Wealth to Support a More Equitable and Just Future’ presented in partnership with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. You may also be interested in Why We Need to Talk About Wealth’. Please note: The pop-up event ‘Museum of the Future’ has been postponed until York Festival of Ideas 2025. 

About the speakers

Natasha Almond is the Director of the Good Organisation, which helps marginalised people benefit from York’s tourism. She is currently researching community-led tourism with the Institute for Social Justice at York St John University. Natasha has been an associate of Social Enterprise International and has worked on developing shared wealth organisations. As a strong supporter of the social economy, she founded York Timebank, a skill-sharing scheme, and co-founded the charity Refugee Action York. Natasha is an experienced facilitator in Deep Democracy, bringing together diverse groups to find solutions to community and societal challenges through creative conversations. These conversations have led to creating a blueprint for transitional accommodation and shared narratives for sustainable cities. Additionally, she developed Outside Influence, a project of the Good Organisation that visualises research creatively to make it accessible to everyone.

Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz was appointed Leader of Islington Council in May 2021, previously working as Executive Member for Children, Young People and Families. Kaya’s achievements since becoming Leader include providing laptops to all care leavers and year 7s who need them to tackle the digital divide, investing in tackling the climate emergency by improving air quality and the biodiversity in the borough and championing early intervention, in particular in the areas of physical and mental health. She has pioneered a Community Power approach to leadership in Islington, running the biggest engagement exercise in the Council’s history and planning a series of Citizen’s Panels. Her commitment is to create an Equal Islington for all who live and work in the borough.

Helen Jones is a disabled, queer woman living in York. She’s curious about the world, passionate about learning and a compassionate activist. She is part of the New Constellations York Crew, Chair of York Disability Rights Forum and Co founder of York Quiet Pride, a pride event that centres disability.

Frances Northrop is Head of Community Economic Power at the New Economics Foundation, a Director of Totnes Community Development Society, a Co-Director of Abundance and a Trustee of Annetta’s Trust. Frances has a long track record of working on initiatives to establish generative and just economies across the UK. She specialises in how change is created through different means – culture, policy, practice and campaigning – and is experienced in all four areas.

Martin O’Neill is a Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of York. He is a member of the executive committee of the British Philosophical Association, and a member of the trustee board of the Democracy Collaborative, a ‘think-and-do’ tank based in Washington DC which works on different models for building a more democratic economy. Martin is a member of the worldwide Expert Network of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and has also served as a member of the UK Labour Party’s Community Wealth Building Unit. Among his other books and publications, Martin is the co-author with Joe Guinan of The Case for Community Wealth Building (Polity, 2019).

Ben Porter is part of the New Constellations York Crew, a group of York citizens and community leaders brought together to explore alternative futures for York. He is the founder of the York Creatives network and runs a shared workspace in the centre of York called ACOLLECTIVE.


This event is part of York Festival of Ideas – for the full programme see https://yorkfestivalofideas.com/2024/calendar/


June 7
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
FREE but booking required - see entry for details


Central Methodist Church (CMC), St Saviourgate York YO1 8NQ
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