Latest News & Posts

Local Resilience Now! – or what we can do to build local economic resilience in this crisis and create the conditions for regenerative economic transformation

To state the obvious, political and economic change happens in all kinds of ways including through crisis and calamity. For those of us working for change at local, municipal and regional scales, this is the moment when many of the solutions we’ve been promoting are needed and the conditions for building the foundations for longer term change are favourable. There’s much to explore on this topic, obviously, but let’s just focus on a few points which might inspire immediate action and kick off a continuing conversation in our wider community of changemakers, and especially here in the South West, UK.

Continue reading Local Resilience Now! – or what we can do to build local economic resilience in this crisis and create the conditions for regenerative economic transformation

Festive Gathering!

It’s a party!    Please join us on Tuesday 3rd December 4-8pm for the REconomy Centre’s Festive Gathering.

It’s a chance to…

* meet the people working to support a strong and resilient local economy

* find out more about the projects that the REconomy Centre nurture and support

* share a mince pie with some very interesting people from your community

* and have some fun!

Bring yourself and a bottle!

When:  Dec 3rd 4pm-8pm

Where:  REconomy Centre, 13 Leechwell St, TQ95SX


Get to grips with social media to tell your story

by Alex Green of Green-Measures Media.

Workshop: September 19th 10am to 1pm

Love it or hate, social media is a necessary tool for businesses that want to be found online.

Social Media MGMTThe past decade has seen social media evolve from being something that was considered useful to do, to being pretty much essential for most businesses to reach out to their audience.

We’re all using it personally now, if not professionally. It’s how we get our daily news, or communicate with friends, family, customers and clients and we’re all spending increasing amounts of time using it on our mobile screens.

It taps into a basic human need for storytelling and to share these stories with the people in our tribe. As technology evolves, this need for storytelling remains constant and social media is simply the latest tool for sharing them.

The problem for many businesses is that it’s hard to keep up, as the social media landscape is constantly changing. While you’re busy doing what you love, social media becomes a chore and it may feel like it’s a lot of effort for not much return on the time invested.

AG profile
Alex Green

If this sounds like you and your business, an introductory workshop at the REconomy Centre on September 19th will help you get to grips with the world of social media. As a communications professional for tourism and heritage organisations, I’ll be sharing some of the knowledge and skills I’ve gained working in this field over the past 20 years to help local businesses use social media more efficiently and effectively.

The workshop begins by looking at the social media landscape and all the different platforms that are available. We then consider where to start your social media journey, what not to do and how to tell your story with authenticity.

Once you’ve found your story-telling voice, we’ll look at curating a good mix of content for your social media channels and how to manage it effectively by planning ahead, monitoring conversations and engaging with your audience online.

Finally, thought will be given to measuring success and how to optimise your content to get results.

Find out more and book at or email

Empty Shops, Full of Opportunity

Who hasn’t noticed the growing vacancies on the Totnes High Street? Totnes has been more the exception than the rule, resisting the retail malaise that has struck High Streets all over Britain. It has, so far, resisted the encroachment of chain stores, while being held up as an example of a local economy thriving on tourism, community spirit and independent shops. For decades, local traders have opposed pedestrianisation, which is, ironically, a suggestion that many visitors make upon struggling their way up the High Street and The Narrows. A few years ago, a temporary traffic reversal was blamed for a few shops closing with an energetic campaign to reverse the reversal.

New Walk
Former home of numerous failed local restaurants.

But there are larger forces at work behind the current trend of closures. One obvious explanation is that shops are failing because people don’t want to buy what they’re selling. This is undoubtedly true for some, probably most, while a few are closing for strategic reasons of their own. A couple of multinational retail chains are opening new units, a SpecSavers and a Coffee One, a subsidiary of Cafe Nero. Both will put further pressure on locally-owned opticians, as well as local cafes and their local suppliers.

Continue reading Empty Shops, Full of Opportunity

‘The Insurgent Power of the Commons’ a talk by Silke Helfrich & David Bollier

Join us for a stimulating evening with two of the leading thinkers in the commons movement, Silke Helfrich and David Bollier, as they discuss the ideas in their new book, ‘Free, Fair and Alive – the insurgent power of the commons.’ (New Society Publishers)

“Free, Fair, and Alive is a penetrating cultural critique, table-pounding political treatise, and practical playbook for “commoning”—free, self-organizing systems ranging from alternative currencies to open-source everything. It presents a bold and compelling alternative to the dead-end, predatory market-state system.”
Can the commons provide a model for a new economics in these times of climate emergency? Can people in communities, in Devon and beyond, work together for common good? How could such a process emerge amidst the current chaos of Brexit, Extinction Rebellion, and political polarization?
These questions and more will form part of the discussion with Silke and David. Please join us!
When:  7:30pm September 18th
Where:  United Free Church, Totnes
Cost:  Sliding scale
Another in our Adventures in New Economics occasional series of talks.




Community Turns Out to Support Local Entrepreneurs

by Tom Quayle

This year, we ran the 8th annual Community of Dragons in Totnes and helped pull off the first ever Local Entrepreneur Forum, including the Community of Dragons, in Torbay. These are exciting and important events helping build a more socially just and environmentally friendly economy.

In Totnes, on May 16th, the ballroom of the Royal Seven Stars was absolutely packed with people from the community looking to invest their time, money and skills with four local entrepreneurs who were pitching for support.

We had Chris Smith from New Futures Academy, aiming to give local young people the skills for a sustainable future through a range of short courses and full time further education. Rachel Phillips and Mark O’Connell from the Apricot Centre were hoping to get support in enabling them to better provide wellbeing services in their woodland for children and families experiencing difficulties. Melissa Milne was hoping to go full time with her business Melbee Artworks providing upcycling workshops and artistic services for the local area. Last but not least Dan Mifsud from the Dartington Mill was aiming to be part of a local food revolution, taking wheat in from local farmers and producing flour for local bakers. The latter is a promising legacy of the Grown in Totnes project.

Continue reading Community Turns Out to Support Local Entrepreneurs

Peace & Permaculture in Japan with Kai Sawyer

Peace & Permaculture in Japan
with Kai Sawyer

7pm Tuesday,  June 25th
At the Barrel House
Sliding scale gift at the door

Please join us for this very special evening with one of Japan’s best known peace and permaculture movement activists.

There’s so much happening in Japan. Kai will share his experience with post-Fukushima renewal and acts of compassion, miso-making in the House of Councillors to spread probiotics in our politics, the Peace and Permaculture Dojo, and impermaculture.

Kai is founder of Peace and Permaculture Dojo and Tokyo Urban Permaculture, is a practitioner of gift economy, and teacher of nonviolence, mindfulness and the Gift Ecology.  Read his blog, here:

Organised by Totnes REconomy Project and Transition Town Totnes.  For more info, email Jay Tompt –

Workshop: How to create your own video!

Saturday, February 9am – 5pm
REconomy Centre, Totnes

Text is good. Images are nice. But if you really want to inform, connect, inspire, then video and animation are about the most effective media you can use.

This course will help you get started with filming, animation and editing for your own projects. We’ll cover:

  • how to work with video
  • using your favourite equipment, Dslr cameras, handycams, smart phone*
  • how to tell a good story and write a script
  • filming, editing and producing a small video ready to upload to your social media platforms
  • and a little introduction on how to use stop motion animation, for creating interesting and fun presentations of your project

* Please bring your own camera and/or smart phone, but if you don’t have either, that’s ok, too!

About Emilio Mula, Nu-Frame

“I’m an artist who uses different disciplines to express myself, like, filming, drawing, photography, and music, mostly. I’m very interested in ways of creating new narratives that can express more clearly the interdependence between nature and humans.”

From feature length documentaries to crowd funding videos, shooting deep in the Amazon to the streets of Paris, animated hours-long e-learning programmes to fun whiteboard doodles, Emilio has deep and broad experience in all aspects of video production.

Cost:  gift economy, pay what you can

Lunch: please bring your own lunch

Booking:  Please send an email to




Workshop: Getting to Grips with Social Media

Thursday 14th February 2019, 10am-1pm.

Who’s it for? Individuals and businesses who already use social media to promote their enterprise but haven’t yet got to grips with how to use it effectively. The aim of the course is to simplify social media and inspire you to create better and more meaningful content on a regular basis and to engage with your social network.

Social media needs to work for you and the more you enjoy it, the better your content will be received and shared by others, delivering more benefits to your business and paving the way for social media success.

What will it cover?

  • Why use social media?
  • How to tell a good story and why it matters.
  • The medium is the message – source and create better content for your channels.
  • Managing social media – plan, monitor and engage.
  • Measuring success – metrics and setting goals.

There will be opportunities to work on your own social media channels during the half-day session, so attendees are invites to bring along their laptop, tablet or smart phone. Following the workshop, each attendee will receive a 5-point plan to make improvements to their social media activity.

Cost: £20 (£10 per person to be paid in advance and donated to REconomy Centre).

Trainer: Alex Green, Green-Measures Media.

Register your interest by sending an email to

Please include your name, business and social media handles, along with a short sentence about what you’re hoping to get out of the workshop.

Alex has worked in journalism, PR and social media for public and private companies, including not-for-profits and charities. Much of her experience has been within the tourism sector and the marketing of place or destinations.

“I’m fascinated by people and places and the stories that bring them to life.

“Social Media can be a great tool for sharing these stories and helping you to connect with the individuals or groups that matter.”

Alex has a degree in Journalism and a Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma in Managing Digital Media.

Testimonial from Kate Hewett, Volunteering Support Officer at South Hams Community & Voluntary Services (CVS):

“Alex came to support South Hams Community and Voluntary Services develop their social media engagement. Alex made the team feel relaxed and able to talk about their experiences of social media and what they wanted to get out of it. Alex is enthusiastic about the subject and able to provide simple practical advice as well as longer term vision. Our session with Alex made us feel like we understood social media a little better and made us feel like we had a clear idea about how we could start making improvements in a manageable way.”

Local Entrepreneur Workshop – Intensive

9:30am – 4:30pm, Saturday, February 2
REconomy Centre 13 Leechwell St, Totnes TQ9 5SX, UK

Local Entrepreneur Workshop Intensive is designed to stimulate, inspire, and support you as you develop your business plan, and maybe even to help you prepare to pitch your project at the next Local Entrepreneur Forum. 

Local Entrepreneur Workshop Intensive

Is your enterprise project ethical, sustainable, or otherwise going to benefit the community in some way?  Then this might be for you.  We’ll cover four themes:

  • Leadership and Organisation
  • Innovation
  • Business Models
  • Pitching Your Plan.

 Includes interactive discussion, handouts and ‘action learning’ assignments.

Coffee, tea, snacks provided. Bring your own lunch or get lunch at the Food in Community ‘pay what you feel’ cafe.

Cost: £20, bursaries available.

To book, email

Facilitator:  Jay Tompt, has an MBA, start up and consulting experience spanning over 25 years.  He’s a coordinator of the Totnes REconomy Project and associate lecturer in economics at Plymouth University.