Thu 15 Mar 2018 12:02PM

The "Preston Model"

G Graham Public Seen by 117

In the UK a fair bit of coverage has been given recently to the work done in Preston on relocalizing the economy. I'm interested in opinions and ideas about how to extend and deepen the so-called "Preston Model" towards a more explicit Commons-oriented approach.


mike_hales Thu 15 Mar 2018 2:19PM

This is interesting @graham2, yes, more of this please. At present, is there much explicit 'commons' thinking in the Preston approach? Or is it basically about local cashflow and local private (small?) business? Does it highlight social enterprise? Workers' coops? Genuinely asking . . . I would be glad to see more analysis posted on 'Prestonism'.

Are you involved in Preston? AN Other locality? Might you want to hook up with @asimong here in creating a UK-focused P2P/Commons network?


Graham Thu 15 Mar 2018 6:32PM

Thanks Mike. Certainly growing the cooperative economy is a part of the Preston approach, and I know Gareth Nash who is part of the Cooperative and Mutual Solutions (CMS) team that is based in Preston, and is driving a lot of that activity. I'm not directly involved in what's happening in Preston, yet. I am working to develop a similar programme in Kirklees, on the other side of the Pennines.


Liam Murphy Thu 15 Mar 2018 2:18PM

HI Graham - I'm currently involved in setting up 3 focus groups as research towards a 'proof of concept' project for commons collecting societies and mutually owned intellectual property asset banks: (CultureBanks on here - https://www.loomio.org/invitations/475e91ab6cdd40734c7f - all welcome!). I've made enquiries in the Labour Party about the Preston Model, though it is difficult to work with them due to politics!! I do think mimicking the practice of working with 'anchor orgs' to source locally is a start, but for most commons-oriented approaches you have to begin with ownership (at least in terms of what i'm doing). Preston seems to be about procurement mainly. I want to introduce 'commons transition' to local LEP's Cultural Boards, Museums and Libraries as well as P2P and to link them into a commons of peer production ('co-production' in their lexicon). In order to speak with these orgs on a 'strategic' level, they insist on seeing, ironically, what 'we' are doing 'centrally'. Of course, that is not the gospel in commoning, so there's an impasse. My solutions so far are:
1. To concentrate on IP ownership, since it is one of the few areas where people actually begin with ownership
2. To approach institutions on specific matters which may be proving intractable but which commoning might offer a potential solution to.
3. To join in here and be involved in setting up some kind of move towards 'commons transition UK', Commons Transition Circles etc.
4. By getting anchor orgs to frame some of their research and events under a commons transition banner: This seems to be working to some extent... I have been asked to draft an agenda for a proposed symposium around: "IP and a host of Brexit related trade and competition questions (which) might be related in terms of localism and commons based organisation with diverse contributors from Arts, Tech, Law, Economics etc. "
5. Once a degree of awareness has been raised, to request or develop 'position statements' on the agendas of the above groups, local authorities etc. and then to offer to conduct asset maps and audits to evaluate future possibilities. Social Accounting, Participatory Budgeting etc, as Michel is speaking about now in Belfast, would be the next steps.

Happy to be corrected/advised on all counts!

Any bulleted suggestions for items 4 and 5 would be greatly appreciated...

Hope that's of some use,


Michel Bauwens Thu 15 Mar 2018 2:19PM

I believe that Pat Conaty may know a bit more about this, so I put him in cc,

Michel , https://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/Preston_Model


Greg Cassel Thu 15 Mar 2018 2:38PM

@asimong perhaps you're somewhat familiar with this? (apologies if it doesn't seem very relevant)


Simon Grant Thu 15 Mar 2018 3:36PM

Thanks for the mentions -- I do not have any deep knowledge of the Preston model, beyond what anyone can easily read, despite living 15 minutes train journey away. But if there is anyone else in NW England who would like to collaborate on the job of interpreting the Preston further -- beyond the work of @michelbauwens1 already cited above -- then I'm game. If it were worthwhile, it would be easy enough for me to visit and see.

The Aditya Chakrabortty article cited by @graham2 says a lot more than I was aware of. It would be interesting to investigate more deeply the statement "It even creates worker-owned co-operatives."


Michel Bauwens Thu 15 Mar 2018 6:51PM

Hi Michel and Stacco

The Preston model is seeking to doing something like the Evergreen Co-ops in Cleveland.

Here is a good article by Aditya Chakrabortty in the Guardian on the Preston model. He is a great journalist now running an ongoing series on alternative business pathways.


We are launching our third report on Trade Union and Co-op solutions to precarious work next week. It is called Working Together. Shall we send you guys the press release and the report on Monday coming?



Graham Fri 16 Mar 2018 10:10AM

I think I've been invited by Pat to be involved in this Trade Union/Co-op project.


mike_hales Thu 15 Mar 2018 7:26PM

It would definitely be good to discover more about 'Cooperative and Mutual Solutions’ within the Preston approach. Please :)

Kirklees is next door to the patch where I originally came from: Calderdale. D’you have names of similar people in Calderdale? Is anyone here (in Loomio) in Calderdale?

For that matter: in Brighton! Where I live now.

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