Bee in a bonnet: Discussions for a Circular & Social Economy

Robert F Kennedy

This is BEE IN A BONNET, discussions from Eifion Williams on the transition to a Circular Economy: material flow looping back into the products of the future underpinned and driven by localisation and community revival street by street; with a central role for Social Enterprises in strengthening our communities and greater economic democracy through the use of Circular Currencies. 

BEE IN A BONNET aims to turn concerns on their head: providing practical solutions from the coalface of community and cooperative revival in Wales. The BEE IN A BONNET logo (c) above, wears a Welsh hat but has wings to share and pollinate ideas to a global audience.

Community should be the biggest estate not the smallest. Such a turn around calls for a seismic shift in what we ask of our economy. Wales’s pioneering commitment in law to sustainability will hopefully  be followed by other countries globally. This site however concentrates on practical application, setting up new cutting edge initiatives in your community and providing first hand experience.

Wales’s new sustainability legislation, the ‘Future Generations Bill’, was described by Wales’s First Minister as “the central principle of governance” for Wales. Topics on this site assess mainstream social, economic, environmental issues within the context of the new challenges we face the world over. Cooperative and social enterprise solutions will play a great part in our evolving democracy over the decades to come; this is an agenda that is already uniting people across the political divides. We must dig out cost benefit beyond the single bottom line; a change that will imaginatively bring cost savings whilst driving up social and environmental benefits. This is just the beginning, it’s unfolding all the time across the world in reaction to TTIP and other anti-democratic measures,

  • In Europe, Economic Democracy would provide a stake in the financial institutions that affect our daily lives through choosing a new future: re-mutualising our banks and enforcing the consumer element of the Vickers proposals for changes in banking.
  • Cooperative Democracy would allow for community run food distribution to flourish and grow; a society that has the strength and creativity to encourage alternatives in many fields, for local producers and service deliverers to prosper and for people to be given real choice. Community structures that essentially provide the vibrancy, wealth and resilience for local private businesses to flourish also.
  • The full potential of Social Enterprise has not yet been realised; it nurtures locally driven trades, cultural expression, stable and sustainable finance; its input into civic life have never been needed more.

If we are to create resilient and living communities, services that deliver their goals and governments that improve our lives on a fundamental level; then we need more than the practical solutions that in the first instance this site strives to provide, we will have to change the way we prioritise and measure our successes. No one can sum it up better that Robert F. Kennedy did when he explained why GDP, single bottom line accounting on a national scale, isn’t the best tool to measure and improve the true value of its society. If what he says below resonates, you’ve come to the right place:

This site stands shoulder to shoulder with anybody pursuing circular economy and social enterprise solutions regardless of party political leanings. If there’s an agenda for us all to be ‘in it together’, it’s this.