Grants / Projects we are funding

The Economic Change Unit – a strategic platform to accelerate economic systems change

Grant details


Awarded on:01/09/2019

Duration:3 years


Area of interest

Resilient economies

Themes covered

Systems change

The economic systems change movement has increased in size and influence over the last decade. A growing ecosystem of organisations now exists in the UK, which is at the forefront of the movement globally, covering most of the functions needed to promote change in prevailing political-economic ideas.

The continued failure of the incumbent neoliberal paradigm means the potential for change is growing; this failure demands a greater and more urgent response. We are still a long way from having major institutions enact new economic ideas.

In a previous, Friends Provident Foundation-funded project, we mapped the UK economic systems change movement and concluded that: there is not a fully coherent intellectual foundation for a new paradigm; there is no comprehensive mainstream media outreach programme; and there is little coordination within established, mainstream organisations and groups, and connection with campaigners organised through NEON and other groups.

What will the project try to achieve?

The Economic Change Unit (formerly the Strategy and Communications Group) is a strategic support platform that will develop movement infrastructure across three areas: communications; network building; and strategic convening, and connect to similar efforts across the world. It will aim to accelerate efforts to change the dominant political-economic paradigm away from neoliberalism towards an equitable, sustainable and democratic alternative. It will be a service provider, seeking to convene, connect and amplifying individuals and organisations, providing movement ‘infrastructure’ that does not yet exist while complementing existing infrastructure. Ultimately, the platform will support the movement by providing common resources and expertise that enable the activity of groups and individuals to have an impact greater than the sum of their parts.

Who might be interested?

The Economic Change Unit will focus primarily on the ‘insider’ community – of established, mainstream organisations – covering nine main groups: academia, think tanks, government, media, civil society, key private sector influencers, progressive businesses, funders, and non-UK organisations. The project will therefore be of interest to those seeking economic systems change who work in or with these groups, or desire to contact and influence them, including those in ‘outsider’ (campaigning) groups.