A dynamic two-day workshop bringing together academic, policy and civil society experts to forge a common agenda for alternatives to the current zombie economy.

Goldsmiths College, 1st-2nd June 2016

We are living in the grip of triple crises; financial crisis ready to erupt at any time; environmental crisis, now too pronounced for global leaders to ignore; social crisis intensifying in step with the post crash austerity agenda.

Now is the time to start developing ways out of the enduring economic fragility and looming global crises, so that the next crisis does not bring more of the same. To do this we must develop new ways of thinking and communicating alternative frameworks for solving 21st century problems.

Provocations establishing a common agenda will be offered by:

Ann Pettifor, Economist, Labour Economics Advisory Team, author of Credit Power: the Creation, Control and Politics of Money (forthcoming with Verso)

Frances Coppola, Economist and Commentator

Dawn Foster, Guardian Journalist, author of Lean Out

Marc Stears, Chief Executive, New Economics Foundation(NEF), author of Demanding Democracy

Melissa Fisher, New York University, author of Wall Street Women

Elisabeth Prugl, Graduate Institute Geneva, author of Neoliberalism with a Feminist Face (forthcoming)

Ewald Engelen, University of Amsterdam, author of The Shadow Elite Before and After the Crisis: nothing learned, nothing forgotten

Jean Boulton, University of Bath, author of Embracing Complexity: Strategic Perspectives for an Age of Turbulence

Faiza Shaheen, Director, Centre for Labour and Social Studies (Class)


Our efforts will be to shift economic thinking beyond the endless cycle of crisis which currently characterise our economy to instead examine the potential paths for economic renewal. We invite actors from theory, policy and practice to envision a future beyond the zombie economy and work in collaboration to disruptively create a new economic imagination.

These will be developed through a focus on four organising questions:

What does a democratic and inclusive economy look like?

Overlapping forms of worsening inequality of income are manifested through long-standing power dynamics of gender, race and disability. In exploring this we will seek to uproot power and privilege by asking: how can cultural change be progressive?

How can financialisation be dismantled?

The failures of finance-dominated growth is becoming ever more apparent at macroeconomic, market and bank level, as well as in everyday commercial life. Can we mobilise multiple types of expertise to forge a coherent agenda for alternatives to fictionalisation?

Can different types of labour organise?

Industrial trade unions are in long term demographic decline, it is time to explore how different forms of labour and new forms of work can be collectivised, governed or invested in.

Why build common ground?

The political and economic failures creating the zombie economy are clear, persistent financial crises, pernicious inequality and ecological destruction, now is the time to build a common agenda for change and ask, how do we move beyond single-issue struggles?

Together with the New Economics Foundation (NEF) and the New Economy Organisers Network (NEON) we will bring together over 40 participants with different types of expertise: academic, policy, campaigns and actions working on alternatives to our current economic and political malaise.

To join us and contribute to building a common agenda please register here.

If you would like to attend the evening lecture please register here.



10:00 – Welcome – Marc Stears (NEF), Will Davies (Co-Director PERC), Johnna Montgomerie (Organiser)

10:30 – Opening Provocation – Building Common Agenda for Change:  Ann Pettifor (PRIME Economics) & Jean Boulton (University of Bath)

11:30 – Break Away Sessions

Contesting Urban Fortunes – Simon Parker (York) in conversation with Luna Glucksberg (LSE) and Joel Benjamin (Debt Resistance UK)

Harvesting Banking for the Public Good Christine Berry (NEF), Thomas Marois (SOAS), Carl Packman (Toynbee Hall)

Undoing the Debt Economy – Chris Harker (Durham), Laura Bear (LSE), Andreas Antoniades (Sussex)

1300 – LUNCH

1400 – Afternoon Provocation – What is an Inclusive Economy? Melissa Fisher (New York University) & Lisa Prugl (Geneva)

1500 – Break Away Sessions

Feminist Voices for Change – PechaKucha Session with Ruth Cain (Kent), Melissa Fisher (NYU), Daniela Tepe-Belfrage (Sheffield)

After the Next Financial Crisis – Josh Ryan-Collins (NEF), Or Raviv (Durham), Marloes Nicholls (Finance Innovation Lab), Daniel Chevez (Transnational Institute)

From Debt Cancellation to Debt-Free Living – Sarah Lyall (NEF), Clea Bourne (Goldsmiths), Ryan Davey (LSE), Vica Rogers (Debt Resistance UK)

1630 – Report Back on the Commitment Wall

1730 – End

1830 – PERC Public Lecture with Arnie Graf (Industrial Areas Foundation, life-long community organiser and political activist) – Standing for the Whole, Arnie Graf shares his unique perspective on the shifting political landscapes in the UK and US and his insight into the new politics they are creating.



10:00 – Welcome back and Recap : Johnna Montgomerie (PERC)

10:30 – Opening Provocation – Dismantling Financialisation – Frances Coppola (Journalist) & Ewald Engelen (Amsterdam)

11:30 Break Away Sessions

Bringing Banks out of the Shadows  – Daniela Gabor (West of England), Ewald Engelen (Amsterdam), Laurie McFarlane (NEF), David Quentin (Tax Justice Network), David Clarke (Positive Money)

The Uber Moment: when is sharing not caring? – Frances Coppola, Chris Clarke (Warwick), Duncan McCann (NEF), Vica Rogers (Debt Resistance UK)

Creating New Care Infrastructures – Daniela Tepe Belfrage (Sheffield), Juanita Elias (Warwick), Ruth Pearson (Women’s Budget Group), Gabriel Bristow (NEF)

Owner-Occupy: housing the nation? – Desiree J Fields (Sheffield), James Woods (King’s College), Sara Mahmoud (Shelter)

1300 LUNCH

1400 Afternoon Provocation – Disorganized Labours – Dawn Foster (Journalist) & Faiza Shaheen (Class)

1500 Break Away Sessions

Audit of the Public’s Debts – Andrea Lagna (Loughborough), Sara-Jayne Clifton (Jubilee Debt Campaign), Joel Benjamin (DRUK)

Changing Feminist Business Cultures – Adrienne Roberts (Manchester), Catia Gregoratti (Lund), Sofie Tornhill (Stockholm)

Future of Unions – Becky Wright (Unions21), Elly Baker (GMB), Susan Kelley (Goldsmiths), Alice Martin (NEF)

1630 Closing Sessions – Plan of action

1730 End




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