Watch the Impossible Become the Inevitable

Indra Adnan, Change:HOW speaker and founder of the Soft Power Network, writes in Huffington Post:

"What each of the speakers have been asked to do is not sell you an idea in that old transactional relationship between salesman and customer: but to share the story of the idea with you, how it entered into their lives and transformed them. Maybe then the listener can hear what drives that person, their values, their hopes and dreams, their way of being in the world and connect with them, whether they completely buy the idea or not.

"If Change-How is a question, then the answer has to be through people inspiring each other to take responsibility for the problems we face and committing to acting creatively, each in our own field, yet together.

"It's a long way from the current political culture that doorsteps potential voters, hoping they will become supplicants to Westminster for change. Where the best promises still only offer more of the same low-wage enslaved, relationship deprived, mentally challenged society we have come to accept as the norm.

"Spend some time with the purveyors of the impossible, and maybe you too will feel their vision of change -- based as it is on human and social potential -- is, after all, inevitable."

Read the full piece here.

Why I'm Optimistic About Democracy, But Less So About Politics

Change:HOW speaker Uffe Elbaek, Danish MP, former minister of culture and initiator of the entrepreneurial green party The Alternative, writes in Huffington Post: 

He writes: "How do we stop the epidemic of apathy surging through many European countries? It's an important question and one I have been giving quite a lot of thought, since Compass and political artists People at Play in London invited me to speak at the Change:HOW conference on February 8, 100 days before the UK will have its next government.

"I don't have the answer, but I might have a bit of one. Hopefully, together with answers from the 99 other speakers, we will make new strides towards solving apathy. Or more precisely, towards solving the problem that lies at the root of apathy. Because, as I see it, apathy is not the sickness, it is a symptom."

Read the entire article here

It’s good to talk

Neal Lawson, chair of Compass who are co-sponsoring Change:HOW? writes for LabourList:

"Ed won’t talk to Nicola. Nicola won’t talk to David and neither will Natalie nor Leanne. Nick won’t to Nigel but David might.

"Welcome to the playground of British politics in 2015. The mainstream politicians dress up as if they’re going to win outright but the jackets and dresses are way too big and no one takes any of them seriously. This lunacy is what happens when multi party complexity is rammed into a two party constitution.

"Everyone who wants a good society is going to have to grow up, be more open, honest and humble. And all of them are going to have to talk – building trust and understanding in advance of NOC. Because that’s what a Tory, UKIP, DUP alliance will be doing. If they are better at talking then we can kiss goodbye to the BBC, the NHS, growth and any sense of equality.

"All of this and more will be discussed at the Compass conference Change: How? on 8th Feb. Come and talk with people you know, and to different people about how radical politics can be – it’s the future."

Read the full article here.

Change? How? England arises…

Anthony Barnett, one of our speakers and the founder of OpenDemocracy writes:

Is it coming? Finally, is England rising, is William Blake coming in from the cold? It might just be happening. The SNP are transforming, the Greens are surging, Syriza is inspiring because it demonstrates the rational possibility of an alternative to austerity,    and if you, dear reader, are in the slightest bit interested in assisting the possibility then there are ways you can get off your bum.

This Sunday indeed, you can join me at Change: How 2015 which is a day in the life of this new left. Bringing together Reds and Greens, Nationalists and localists, vision and practitioners, the English and the Greeks, the Spanish and the Danish and much more. Over 100 actors on stages and 500 actors filling London’s oldest alternative venue in Islington for a Sunday afternoon that you curate your way round. 

Read the full article here.

From Scotland to Spain to Greece, we see a new political world emerging

Neal Lawson, director of Compass who are co-sponsoring Change:HOW? writes for the New Statesman:

Three things are happening at once and it’s perplexing. First, the old politics is looking very tired. On our screens we see an election we have all seen before – like a BBC repeat - run by the same people in the same way. It's not that the outcome doesn’t matter – it seriously does. But not as a way of building new energies – just falling over the line first. And then what?

Frome's Flat Pack Democracy, Yorkshire First, the NHS Action Party, MyStroudMP and a myriad other groups doing tactical voting, vote swaps and anything that gets us round the death grip of first past the post elections will try and open up the space for something different and better.

Activists and thinkers are trying to imagine and create an alternative in the hear and now – to prefigure a good society and not wait for a politicians to give it to them. So come on down Transition Towns and the alternative currencies of places like Brixton, ShareAction and the social economy and cooperate movements, Citizens UK and the unions fighting for a living wage, UK UnCuts and anti-frackers who put their bodies on the line for social justice and sustainability, the idealists who want a 21 hour week and a citizens income and know nothing less is feasible.

Read the full piece here

Linda Jack writes about Change:HOW? for Lib Dem Voice

Linda, who will be speaking at Change: HOW? about her experiences in Liberal Left and opposing the Conservative coalition, writes: 

This is a non partisan un-conference bringing together a range of political activists, thinkers  and campaigners. The line up is hugely diverse, including the Pirate Party, the Kurdish Federation,  Syriza, Peter Tatchell, Giles Fraser, Chris Coltrane, Stella Creasy. What we all have in common is a desire for change, change that is inclusive, change that results in a good, rather than a ‘big’ society.

With a brilliant venue, live music and a bar, there will be a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of opportunity for discussion and debate. The day promises a cornucopia of new ideas, inspiration and challenge, my only disappointment looking at the line up is that I can’t get to hear everyone speak.

Read the full article here

A Broken System Cannot Carry On Forever

Professor Jeremy Gilbert writes in The Huffington Post UK

What Syriza in Greece, the Radical Independence Campaign in Scotland and Podemos in Spain all have in common is this range of constituent elements. They include radical leftists, trade unionists, social democratic, greens, liberals, NGOs, community groups, and many who have come into politics for the first time or very recently (even, in some cases, democratic conservatives) 

The Change: How? conference on February 8th in London will be unprecedented in bringing together in this country just such a range of voices committed to real systemic change from across the political and cultural spectrum.

Whether or not it leads to anything will be up to us, but we already know from Greece, as Owen Jones put it recently, that this is what he politics of hope looks like.

Read the full article here

A taste of our speakers...

We'll be posting the details of our amazing 100 changemakers and their stories of deed-doing imminently.

For now, here's a little peek at who's coming along:

  • Bob and Roberta Smith - 'In a time of difficulty, culture can bring hope'

The magnificent, bold and brilliant political artist who has exhibited at MoMA, Tate Britain and the National Gallery's Fourth Plinth. A passionate defender of arts education, his Art Party is standing in Michael Gove's constituency on May 7th. He is a passionate defender of arts education, and his manifesto includes making one artistic subject compulsory at GCSE, and establishing an artistic community in Surrey Heath

  • Matt Howarth - ‘Tech is about so much more than just buying more crap off Amazon, we’re interested in how you can use technology to make people happier, healthier, safer – especially those who often get left behind.'

Matt created Ugly Mugs, through his company Reason Digital, to let sex workers share anonymous tip offs about possible assaults, abusers and rapists. It offers alerts if sex workers get called by a number on the database of alleged attackers, and offers an alternative to vulnerable men and women often too frightened of arrest to contact police.

  • Bite the Ballot's Michael Sani - 'In a society driven by numbers and data why do people not believe numbers will make a difference at the ballot box? Would you play in a football team if only 2 players turned up on a weekend?'

Michael is an actor by trade, but he got fired up by Russell Brand's talk of revolution and he wants one of his own. Through the ballot box. He is passionate about smart, sexy, digital campaigning to get young people out into polling stations, so politicians can't continue to ignore a demographic who are least likely to keep them in a job.

Gina Spiro

Gina Spiro

  • Stella Duffy - ‘the true democratisation of the arts… feels more vital than ever’

A celebrated writer, a visionary theatremaker, a creative force, Stella is a prolific author but these days, her heart’s in ‘Fun Palaces’. Inspired by theatre legend Joan Littlewood, they are places where anyone can go to take part in high or low culture, fine art or fingerpainting, balloon animals and botany, particle physics or poker, in 143 different venues. A vision to take the arts out of the hands of the money-ed middle classes and make it truly accessible to everyone, no matter their income or taste.

 

  • Uffe Elbaek - ‘Today the world and our ability to shape it is literally in our hands, transparency and accountability rule. We rule; but only if politics changes too.’

Uffe is a pretty different sort of MP from Denmark. He was Minister for Culture until 2012 and is the rebel initiator of the entrepreneurial green party the Alternative. He's a risk-taking entrepreneur, writer, passionate activist and an incredibly motivational speaker on the need for leadership with just a bit more damn innovation.