The Foundational Economy is a collective of (mainly) European academic researchers working together to develop a new way of thinking which challenges mainstream ideas about what economic policy should be.  Our focus is on the foundational economy – including health, care, education, housing,  utilities and food supply- because these basic goods and services are a driver of welfare and the basis of citizenship.

Our members come from several countries, a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and have different  political affiliations. As a group, we are developing a distinctive practice represented by our multi authored books and articles and our diverse outputs including public interest reports. We are collectively minded, work together continuously and aim to lever social innovation that changes what is politically possible. More information about the Foundational Economy can be found in Short Films.

News and Events

SMEs in the Welsh food system

SMEs in the Welsh food system (August 2021) This independent report provides a pioneering analysis of a foundational reliance system which challenges romantic preconceptions about local food and alternative distribution systems. One crucial problem in the system is that the number of SMEs has not increased over the past decade while micro firms generating low […]

September Conference on Foundational Renewal

This year’s foundational economy conference is a three-day online event from Tuesday 7th to Thursday 9th September organised by the WISERD Research Centre at the University of Cardiff. Our theme is ‘Foundational renewal – Transforming reliance systems in the wake of COVID-19’. The opening plenary on the good working life is by Hilary Cottam who many […]

Small Towns and Big Issues

The Welsh government has now published Small Towns, Big Issues. Our independent report broadens the frame to look beyond declining town centres and analyses three small towns in their hinterland. It highlights how mass automobility and permissive planning have since 1980 allowed edge of town development and out of town commuting. Hence the difficulty of […]

Social Democracy without capturing the central state?

Across western Europe it has traditionally been assumed that delivery of foundational infrastructure depends on a social democratic party which can capture the central state or at least acts as a credible alternative party of government. When social democracy is increasingly splintered and marginal, Working Paper 10 does not join the many offering various left, […]

UK key workers in Covid

How has the Covid 19 pandemic impacted the everyday working and living experience of UK workers in the Foundational Economy.  In this new working paper Working in the Foundational Economy during Covid 19 , Paul Sissons and colleagues from Coventry University report on the results from a telephone survey of nearly 2000 UK workers in […]

Financial exclusion in Spain

Access to finance through bank accounts and other financial services is essential for citizens’ economic and social participation.  In this sense, retail banking is a foundational infrastructure. Yet instead of ensuring this basic functionality, banks’ actions to defend profitability have had deleterious effects on their customers, increasing the financial exclusion of vulnerable consumers. The Spanish […]

Web Development by Cynog Williams – cynog.net