The Future of the Alternative Economy


RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, London, 27-29 August 2014

What is the future of the ‘alternative economy’?

Organisers: Agatha Herman and Mike Goodman (University of Reading)

Over the last 20 years,alternative economic systems have increasingly offered another way of engaging economically to the hegemonic neoliberal market. Local currencies, co-operatives, community credit unions, faith-based engagements and ethical trading initiatives have, amongst others, changed our relationships as consumers and producers but where do we go from here? This session takes a participatory workshop approach to reflect on and discuss issues around the central question: what is the future of the ‘alternative economy’?

Through a series of creative exercises and discussions we will work towards a co-produced opinion piece on alternative economic futures, drawing on experiences from both the developed and developing worlds.

We therefore invite participants to bring along an object or photograph that to them epitomises ‘alternative economies’ (what they are now or what they could be). This will be used to create a ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’, which will be exhibited at the start of the session. The themes and challenges raised through this material engagement will be used to direct small-group discussions leading to a co-produced reflection on the future of the ‘alternative economy’.

This session (sponsored by the Participatory Geographies Research Group and the Economic Geographies Research Group) is interested in YOUR thoughts, experiences and opinions so choose an object and join in the discussion!

To register your interest in participating in this participatory workshop, please contact Agatha Herman on


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