Five community-powered initiatives showing strength in numbers, from a food partnership programme to an independence movement
This piece is part of our Hope 100 series, telling the stories of the people and organisations creating hope for 2020 and beyond
#68 Bougainville independence movement
A referendum in November 2019 saw almost 98 per cent of the population of Bougainville, an island archipelago off Papua New Guinea, vote for independence. There is still a long way to go – the referendum is not legally binding and ministers expect a long period of transition. But the vote represents an outcome many Bougainvilleans have been hoping for since the end of the region’s brutal civil war. The Autonomous Bougainville Government has successfully helped reconcile opposing groups to maintain peace.
Datakind is a global charity that believes AI is one of the most significant developments in human history – and wants to see it used for social progress rather than solely for the profit of tech giants. The expertise of its community of data scientists has so far been used to help New York City officials improve road safety; allow a Yorkshire food bank identify people likely to become dependent on its services early on; and worked with Global Witness to uncover evidence of corruption by UK MPs and corporations.
#70 Transition Towns
What started as an experiment in a small Devon town in 2006, has become a movement of engaged communities as far spread as Australia, Hawaii and Hong Kong, as well as the length and breadth of the UK. The Transition movement has given rise to local currencies, repair cafes, gardens, food waste projects and so many more – all aiming to meet the needs of the communities that run them.
#71 New Citizenship Project
‘Consumers’, the research says, look for the best deals for themselves, while ‘citizens’ are more likely to engage, participate and come together to help tackle society’s biggest problems. That is the premise behind the New Citizenship Project, which aims to shift us from a society of consumers to one of citizens. The group works with universities, charities and arts groups to help them foster stronger participation and engagement.
#72 Brighton and Hove Food Partnership
The first of its kind in the UK when it was set up in 2003, the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership believes “food is more than just fuel”. Through its various initiatives – which include community gardens and cookery workshops – the organisation aims to address health, food poverty and food waste issues in the city. It is behind a five-year action plan to make Brighton the first Gold Sustainable Food City in the UK.
Image: Brighton and Hove Food Partnership