So what is Cooperation Hull?

The Big Question

Strong, caring communities. 

Enough food, shelter and warmth for everyone, no matter what.

A healthy planet and a new relationship with the natural world (we look after it and it looks after us). 

Lives filled with meaning and purpose, with a future to look forward to.

This is the kind of world we all want. So why don’t we build it?

The Big Answer

People’s Assemblies are a simple tool that will change everything. Public meetings, happening everywhere, replacing party politics with people power.

The Hull People’s Assembly will see two hundred local people tackling a big topic, with real outcomes. It will be the first of its kind in the UK! We need your help to pull it off.

Click here to read more about People’s Assemblies

What’s The Plan?

What does a strategy for changing the world look like? To help us approach this huge task, we’ve come to think about our current society as four overlapping circles. These are the four big systems, or four crises, that govern our world. A planet in crisis. A failing economy. A divided, lonely society. And broken party politics. 

They shape everything about the way we live and the challenges we face as a society and, together, they tell the story of the old world. Nobody (apart from the private-jet-owning elite, a tiny fraction of the population) benefits from these four circles as they are. No ordinary person wants corrupt leaders, crop failures or the culture war, and, to put it simply, there are more of us than there are of them. So…

…we propose a new story. In this story, human kind takes everything we’ve learnt since the dawn of time and chooses to put it to use, to construct better systems that support all of us and build us up rather than keep us down. We choose to evolve. To create a new form of human civilization: human kind with more kindness more happiness more safety more health more love more fairness more justice more connection more joy more to look forward to. 

Ok sounds nice. But how will we do it? First we need to change how we make decisions in society, and who gets to make them.

Click here to find out how

Read more about the four big systems below…

The Economy

The failing economy is a system that makes a few people rich and the rest of us poor, whilst destroying the planet in the process. It looks like giant, multinational corporations paying their employees peanuts and keeping politicians in their pockets. It feels like more disposable stuff, but less joy and less connection. 

A Solidarity Economy prioritises the wellbeing of the community and acts within ecological limits, without sacrificing independence or innovation. Solidarity is the motivator, not profit, because we know we’re all in this together and helping one means helping all. The networks are local – local food, local jobs, local trade – so we have more control over how our neighbourhoods develop, and as we have more direct contact with how things are grown and made, we waste less, buy less, scroll less and talk more. With every crack we make in the system of profit and anonymous consumption, we create more room for art, joy and unlikely friendships. 

Society

The divided society is one that keeps us fighting amongst ourselves, so that we’re distracted from the real issues and the real culprits. The media is owned by a few tax-dodging billionaires, who tell us who to hate (and who to vote for) and we vent on the internet in place of face-to-face debate. It’s a place of extremes – right/left, blue/red, leave/remain – where we’ve forgotten exactly how much we depend on each other. 

A society built of strong, caring communities is exactly that: strong. We have more allies, more friends and more collective power. We don’t always agree, but trust has returned – in each other and in ourselves. Empty buildings and green spaces are brought back into common ownership and shared use – places to talk, celebrate, grow food, learn from and with each other or to just simply be (for free!).

Our Planet

A planet in crisis is Hull flooding in the winter and rationing water in the summer. Global crop failures mean empty shelves and even more inequality over here, as well as a billion people (that’s a thousand million) fleeing their homes and countries over the next 26 years, according to the UN. Weather instability means economic instability, and as we continue to burn fossil fuels despite green energy being cheaper, bills will keep getting higher, poor people will get poorer, and the rich will get richer.

A healthy earth will require us to do things differently, and there’s endless opportunity in that! The People’s Assembly will take advice from experts and make decisions on how to reduce emissions, rewild our spaces and restore nature in ways that support everyone. No more bullshit jobs, our work will be necessary and meaningful and we’ll all have a job to do. Growing food locally will require all of us to get our hands in the soil, democratising new technologies and green energy will require us to learn new skills and work together to redesign our neighbourhoods. And when we’re all busy participating in building the new world, we’ll need new habits to help each other with things like childcare, healthcare and cooking, bringing back the safety net and joy of living in community. 

Politics

The broken party politics of today is not fit for purpose. A narrow choice between Labour or Conservative, a vote every few years, and too much power in too few hands means that most of us do not feel represented, heard, or valued. And decisions on the most important issues are being made for the wrong reasons. The narrow window we have to act on the climate emergency is being wasted, and a millionaire hedge-fund manager is in charge of the UK economy during a cost of living crisis. 

People’s Assemblies help ordinary people decide things together for the right reasons – what’s best for our futures rather than what’s best for our election campaign. Democracy will belong to everyone, and we’ll make progress that will inspire our communities and energise our neighbourhoods. Collective common sense will help us reject short-term thinking, and start considering the effects of our decisions several generations down the line. And when the Hull People’s Assembly is connected to the Leeds People’s Assembly and the Grimsby People’s Assembly… we can make regional decisions together that offer a real alternative to the status quo.

How We Work

These are complicated, global systems with complicated links between them all. How on earth do we think we’re going to have an impact?

Start local. Work with what we’ve got already (which in Hull, is A LOT). Experiment all the time. And learn from each other. 

The good thing is, we are not starting from scratch and we are not alone! We’re one part of a global movement that is alive and kicking, which started before us and will continue long after we’re gone. We’ve borrowed ideas and tools all the way from Mississippi (Cooperation Jackson) to the Middle East (Rojava) and the East Riding.

Click here to read more about our tools