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Steve Wyler

Steve is an independent consultant and writer in the social sector. He is Chair of Community Links, Board member of Groundswell, co-founder of A Better Way, an associate of the Carnegie UK Trust, and a panel member of the independent Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society. In 2017 he published a history of community business (In Our Hands). 

At TEDxBradford 2019, Steve will be presenting his thoughts on community business…

If we really want to take back control …. then community business is the way to do it

Sometimes it can seem we are sleepwalking into the worst kind of future.  One where bit by bit, slowly but surely, our community life is disintegrating around us.  

  • The visible signs:   Gaps in the high street. The library and pub and the cinema closing down.  And the local bakery and the swimming pool and the corner shop and the youth centre and the playground. 
  • The less visible signs:  Our local services disappearing. Youth work, childcare, job training, mental health support… Our expectations ‘managed’. 
  • The invisible signs. Becoming more intolerant and less kind. People around us growing lonelier.  Left out, left behind.  Becoming invisible.

But what can we do? Decisions taken elsewhere by people we never meet.  Who claim to know what is best for us. Sometimes it feels like everything is heading this way  – towards an us and them world –  and there is little any of us can do to stop this…

But then, I pick up this little token.

This is a membership token – Union Mill Birmingham on one side.  A garland of wheat. And on the other a number 973.  So we know at least 973 share owners.

And as I hold it I think maybe, just maybe, we CAN imagine a better future, and even maybe not just imagine it but even make it happen….