Conference ends with launch of OLAN Trust

29.10.05 - Deptford -by

Speakers of 13 organisations have presented their organisations in Deptford on a conference for the progress of the social economy.
The conference in the Old Destillery ended with drinks and food after the launch of the ecological charity OLAN. The trust,
set up by Storm Poorun, is based in South East London New Cross/Deptford and aims to work nationwide to support wildlife and social/environmental
projects with legal and administrative advice.
Storm Poorun
Smiling after the launch of OLAN: Storm Poorun

Present at the conference was a wide range of speakers from co-ops and other organisations. Theme of the conference:
"Progressing the social economy through Arts, Media and Design - and vice versa".
The conference ( was organised by James Mac Donald, former chair of Sanford Housing Co-op, who
could convince the Committee of Management in Sanford Walk to finance the 9 hour conference out of co-op budget, (based on the 5th, 6th and 7th International Co-operative Principles, if one likes). In the previous
years, the former chair of Sanford had organised two alternative housing conferences. As speaker he presented his housing co-op on
Saturday.Sanford currently aims to cut its carbon emmission by 60 % and has embarked a process which would lead to a partly
switch of electricity to wind energy, produced by wind generators, erected on the co-op's land. The "Carbon 60" project could mean
as well a biomass generator and more environmental restructuration to meet the 60% target.

Conference organiser James Mac Donald

South East London Economy Development Agency SELEDA was represented in Deptford by Maria Drury.
SELEDA has helped to set up the local Credit Union (finacial co-op), a food co-op, community allotments and more projects.
SELEDA is based in 165 New Cross Road. No website at time of conference.

Support for SE4, SE14 and SE6: Maria Drury (SELEDA)

Ian Rawes (Brockley Market Campaign) tried to get support for a weekly street market in Brockley. Ian has set up a website
(Brockley Market Campaign) and believes in the positive effect on the neighbourhood. Brockley Market Campaign are
hoping to convince the Council of Lewisham of their plan to establish a weekly street market.. Ian does not only believe in the
positive social effects, but as well in cheaper prices for local consumers. Nice website!

Advocating a street market for Brockley: Ian Rawes

Patrick Nicholson represented one of the key players in the co-op culture. Radical Routes is a secondary co-op
which is composed of several primary co-ops. Radical Routes can give support in form of funding housing- or
workers co-ops. Radical Routes have worked together with far more than 100 co-ops. If one wants to dig deeper
into the co-op issue one should definitely visit their website!

Key player in offering facilities, resources and funding for coops: Radical Routes (Patrick Nicholson)

Not present: Catalyst Collective. Good website for people interested in co-ops

Chris Cook (Open Capital) introduced Limited Liability Partnership LLP as a possible tool for financing projects
to the conference. For more info please visit the website.

Using Limited Liability Partnership to finance community enterprises: Chris Cook of Open Capital

In the age of computers no wonder co-ops melt with the internet. The Open Coop, presented by
Josef Davies-Coates, is an online co-op which creates an online social economy with sheer endless possibilities.
meeting, trading, chatting, exchanging, peer-to-peer communication, you name it...
The Open Coop only uses open source software, which is freely and at no cost available. Nice website.

Inter-net-working for the Open Coop web community: Josef Davies-Coates

With LETS Lisa introduced a local exchange trading system to the conference.
LETS is an exchange scheme of services and skills without any money changing hands.
Like: Where you offer your help in gardening or computing, you might get back help with
your washing machine problem or language lessons.

Promoting the local exchange trading scheme LETS: Lisa

Another local exchange scheme was shortly presented by Vanessa Gould:
The Lewisham Time Bank Network. Tel 020 8852 0911

Other speakers and organisations included:

Lewisham Arthouse: Heather Steed

Creekside Artists (Deptford)

Venue: The Old Seager Destillery in Deptford

What else? The food was excellent and vegan. A pity that workshops had to be cancelled due
to time problems. We spotted John Clarke and can promise you some poetry coming soon. After the launch of OLAN, DJ Ian played tunes on one deck.

Spinning the deck after the conference: DJ Ian