A major collaboration of over 30 national, regional and local organisations is making a final call for collaborators to join them in co-creating a joint action plan for radical, positive social change.

CTRLshift is being billed as an emergency summit for change and will see organisations from diverse spheres coming together at what is thought to be the first cross-sector collaboration of this scale. They will meet 27-29 March in Wigan - one year before the UK officially exits the European Union. The event partners - all of whom leverage a significant amount of community-level support - work in the fields of social justice, democracy and environmental campaigning, and the event will see an anticipated audience of well over 150 people ready to make a commitment to developing an action plan that delivers a fairer society for everyone, and addresses the key economic, social and environmental challenges our communities are facing.

National partners include Permaculture Association, Transition Towns, Solidarity Economy Association, Shared Assets, REconomy Project, Co-operatives UK, Real Farming Trust, Community Energy England, and Social Enterprise UK. A full list of the partners can be found here: http://www.ctrlshiftsummit.org.uk/partners/

Clara dos Santos, co-director and member of the Solidarity Economy Association, said: "We know an alternative, more positive future already exists, but those involved in creating it are not yet sufficiently connected, and our policies and practices not widely adopted. The solidarity economy movement is fundamentally a movement of movements, and this kind of cross-sector collaboration is desperately needed to help create a truly democratic, fairer and more ecologically sustainable economy for everyone."

Andy Goldring, CEO of the Permaculture Association, said: "We believe that the best way to effect change is to bring together those working to reform the system with those actively building practical radical alternatives on the ground. We want to bring together activists, organisers, commoners and entrepreneurs to develop a shared agenda to shift power over our democracy, economy and environment, from Westminster and multinational corporations, to people and communities across Britain. By bringing these solutions together and mobilising people for local and regional action we believe we can make ‘taking back control’ a positive reality."

The CTRLshift partnership is making a final call for anyone wishing to join them in creating a shared action plan for radical social change to do so. More information and tickets can be obtained from www.ctrlshiftsummit.org.uk

-ENDS-

Contact: Kat Darling, [email protected] / 07810 832980

Notes to Editors:

CTRLshift: An Emergency Summit for Change takes place March 27 – 29 2018 at The Edge, Wigan. It will bring together visionary organisations and individuals to create a powerful coherent voice and a collective action plan for radical, positive change in the UK. It is being organised by over 30 partners from around the UK - for a full list and more information, visit - http://www.ctrlshiftsummit.org.uk/

Why Wigan?

When plotting this event, the initial co-convenors were looking for a location in one of the many ‘Brexit Towns’ – those places that voted strongly for Brexit. Our reasoning is and was that many of these represent places left behind. By good fortune, we found that 2017 marked the 80th anniversary of George Orwell’s classic tome, The Road to Wigan Pier, which was itself a journey through the post-industrial heartlands of England. As it happens, most of those towns and cities Orwell toured through were also core Brexit voting areas which fitted perfectly with our intentions. We held our initial planning meeting with 20 organisations at The Old Courts in Wigan at the end of October 2017. Whilst there we also discovered that Gerrard Winstanley, the initiator of The Diggers Movement, was born and raised in the town, and that there is a thriving Wigan Diggers Festival to this day. His declaration ‘From the poor oppressed people of England’ seems a fitting backdrop to the work we wish to carry out in March 2018, over 400 years after his birth.