State of Us 2022 Friday 18th November
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Read more about the Speakers
Find out about State of Us 2021
State of Us Friday 18th November
Book your ticket
Meet the Speakers

The State of Us 2: Ownership, Organising and Opportunity

Building powerful communities and economic democracy

Part of Plymouth’s Social Enterprise City Festival

Friday, November 18th 2022 

Conference: 09:45 – 16:30 After party: 19:00 – late

The Market Hall, Devonport, Plymouth, PL1 4PS

In the face of a growing storm of national and international crises, new ways of building powerful communities and economic democracy are emerging worldwide. Community enterprises and activists are creating alternative forms of power and new municipal models, building more democratic and regenerative local economies.

Based around a foundation of self-managing enterprises, how can communities in places like Plymouth further foster social, environmental and economic resilience? How can we build greater collective agency, better distribute power and create a fairer economy? What is The State of Us in 2022?

About the State of Us

In 2021 Real Ideas, the New Economics Foundation and partners held The State of Us, an online conference series that explored, and was a rallying cry for, grassroots initiatives that offered creative community-based solutions to the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century.

This year the State of Us 2 (#SoU2), we will convene in person in Plymouth, a city at the heart of some of the boldest examples of community-led innovation in the UK. As part of the city’s annual Social Enterprise City Festival, the conference will consider where we are now and through the lenses of ownership, organising and opportunity, explore and devise practical actions.

To anchor and concentrate conversations, the event will examine how communities build power through three themes and practical routes: 

  • Ownership – the generation, retention and distribution of wealth within neighbourhoods are fundamental to individual and community power. Often achieved through the ownership of buildings and land, local ownership of assets creates a tangible presence, influences urban planning and enables community economic development and power.
  • Organising – through education, coming together, collective decision making, collaborative action and local and national campaigns, we can democratically influence policy, politics and legislation, creating greater power for people and communities.
  • Opportunity – within and beyond organising and ownership, and the wider rapidly evolving policy landscape, what are the opportunities that exist, or that can be created to further community economic development and give people the power to create change?

More Information

Taking place at the Market Hall, Devonport, Plymouth on Friday 18th November, SoU2 is a full day conference of talks and workshops, followed by a social event and party. 

The conference is for anyone working on social, environmental, racial, and economic justice, democracy and community power at a local level across the UK, whether through local enterprise, organising, activism, third sector, or local government. Join us to talk, learn and make connections for a brighter, more viable and more just future.

The conference will run from 09.45hrs until 16:30hr and will consist of a series of workshops based around expert talks. Lunch and refreshments will be provided, and the event is free to attend. 

We expect the event to be popular and therefore request that attendees commit to the event, and only book if they are able to do so.  

The State of Us 2 is supported by Power to Change and Plymouth’s Empowering Places Programme. To celebrate five-years of Empowering Places and the Social Enterprise City Festival, the conference will be followed by the after party from 19:00hrs, featuring entertainment and drinks from Plymouth’s cooperative brewery Borrowed Parts


The State of Us 2 is funded by Power to Change, and supported by Real Ideas, the New Economic Foundation, the Centre for Local Economic Strategies and Cooperatives UK.