Our first week of Brightoneering

Last week was the first full week since we launched The Brightoneers with a tweet. Here’s what’s happened since:

  • We’ve had some clarity about what The Brightoneers actually is. It’s a network of people (rather than organisations) that have a shared vision for the local economy and want to take practical steps using business to realise it. This network will spawn new projects, businesses, events and collaborations to make the vision a reality.
  • 50 people have now signed up for the free networking event and launch party in January – a real critical mass of people. This is the first event of its kind, bringing people together who share a vision for a pioneering new local economy in Brighton, so please come along if the vision resonates with you.
  • Some people didn’t really get it which is to be expected, so Tom wrote his personal story about why he started The Brightoneers and what he hopes it will do.
  • Getting the vision out into the wild has attracted the attention of local government and politicians, who have been very positive. Tom and Pete are meeting with people from Economic Development this week and Tom is meeting MP Caroline Lucas in January to talk about The Brightoneers and gain support for the vision. I’d personally love to work with politicians from all parties on this – The Brightoneers is not wedded to any particular party.
  • Dave was over at the launch of The Bevy – a community owned pub in Bevendean. You can buy shares in the pub (how cool!) from £10 here.
  • hiSbe (How it Should be) – a perfect example of The Brightoneers approach to business were featured in The Argus. Tom has been giving them some help and support.
  • We’re starting to look at how we can bring more next generation thinking into business education in the city – from schools right up to the universities.
  • Tom is using his connection with WorldBlu to investigate how workplaces across Brighton can be more democratic. Democratic principles are a key part of realising the vision.
  • Sven is particularly interested in using a cooperative business approach to help the housing problem in the city, and is working on some early stage ideas for this.
  • We’ve started working on a new website that will be much more decentralised because at the moment it’s too centred around a couple of people which isn’t a true network. The new website is likely to be much more social network and/or wiki-based so it can be used as an online platform to enable collaboration.

How about you? Please tell us in the comments what you’ve been up to that’s working towards the vision, or share ideas and questions about what should happen next.

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The Brightoneers’ vision for Brighton’s economy

Wouldn’t it be great if the economy in Brighton existed to make life in our city better for everyone, now and for future generations, in harmony with the natural world?

Wouldn’t it be great if the local economy was not just for the people, but owned by the people – the workers and citizens?

Wouldn’t it be great if the local economy could provide everything that the people here need from food to energy to banking to transport, as well as exporting the things that it is best at to the rest of the world?

Wouldn’t it be great if money cycled round and round the local economy, making us all better off, and not into the pockets of the few?

Wouldn’t it be great if businesses that worked in this way collectively became the largest employer in the city, creating jobs that deliver happiness and meaning as well as a salary?

Wouldn’t it be great if we created a model that inspired other towns and cities across the world to build better local economies for the benefit of everyone there too?

This is neither socialism nor capitalism as we know it. This is a vision for a local economy in Brighton where the power of money, markets and thriving commerce is put to use to increase the wellbeing of everyone in the city, forever.

This is not a pipe-dream. The work has already started and there are some incredible pioneering businesses in Brighton that are making this vision a reality today.

The Brightoneers are a group of people working to set up, join up and celebrate pioneering businesses in Brighton, to create a city full of wellbeing for everyone.

Like the sound of this? Please blog about us, tweet about us, and get involved.