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News from Pat Conaty

Pat writes:

Our work on a People’s Bank for Wales is advancing. Mark Drakeford the new First Minister put it in his manifesto and is committed to making this happen. We are working now with Welsh government to make this real within two years.

We ran an online course Social and Ecological Economic solutions in the past and attracted activists from 24 countries. Our partner is the Open University in Canada. The registrations will go live mid Feb. The course is free.

The need for systemic change has never been more obvious or more urgent – for people and planet. We at Synergia are reaching out to people who are committed to the common struggle for transformative change.

As an international network of senior, lifelong practitioners and community educators we are shaping our contribution around two core areas of work:

  1. a) Designing accessible, high quality educational resources that can be leveraged by change agents everywhere to create system changing solutions fitted to local contexts. Our online learning platform offers discussion and exchange of practical knowledge and strategies for action leading to systemic change and the provision of basic needs.
  2. b) Providing training and education programming to change makers – whether individuals or organizations – through intensive, face-to-face courses that fit solutions and strategic thinking to solving key issues in strategic sectors.

In 2017 we piloted a MOOC (Massive, Open, Online Course) to test our ideas, methods and tools. Over 600 people registered from 24 countries. We learned a lot. We have now targeted March 11, 2019 for the launch of the newly revised course where change makers from many fields can experience and utilize contemporary, cutting edge content to advance their work. The course will be offered in two four week segments.

The Synergia MOOC offers a certificate and we are working to secure undergraduate and Masters level accreditation. The course is free at the certificate level. The cost of degree accreditation is not yet finalized. To learn more about the theories and approaches that underpin our vision and work, visit: https://synergiainstitute.wordpress.com/

The Synergia Team

To learn more about our face-to-face programs, click here: https://vimeo.com/305934867.

If you have questions about the MOOC or if you want to discuss how we can help facilitate group learning that is geared to your priorities and objectives, please contact Michael Lewis at lewiscccr@shaw.ca

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News from Pat Conaty

Pat Conaty, well-known in Birmingham for his co-founding of the Aston Reinvestment Trust with Sir Adrian Cadbury and setting up the Debt Advice Centre at the Birmingham Settlement, moved to Wales where he is promoting community housing and community land trusts (CLTs).

His work with others includes the building of a partnership between the Welsh government, co-op housing activists and non-profit housing developers to run a national demonstration project on CLTs and other forms of democratic housing including co-op rental, co-op shared equity, community self-build and co-housing.

He comments that such partnerships have long been established in Scandinavia where co-op housing is commonplace, continuing:

“As affordable housing both to own and to rent has vanished since 2010, community led-housing solutions have been emerging against the odds. Community Land Trusts in rural and urban areas, co-housing and student housing co-ops have been bootstrapped by activists . . .

“In Wales and South West England partnerships with government and local authorities and housing associations are showing how to develop effective public-social partnerships with local activists to increase the diversity of democratic housing provision and solutions”.

At the Co-op Congress in Wakefield last July, Ed Mayo asked Pat to chair the Reimagine Housing session which led to further developments with Liverpool and Leeds activists connecting CLTs and Co-op housing to speak, the Student housing co-op activists and other innovators.

This led to other meetings in early January with housing co-operatives and the head of a housing association, interested in his Commons Sense report for Co-ops UK on Co-op garden city opportunities and connections with those working in the Midlands on the use of brownfield land to develop new garden cities.

 

 

 

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