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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

WISERD Foundational Economy online events Sept 2020

The ESRC funded WISERD centre based at Cardiff University organised a series of events in September 10 September to address key questions that arise from the current Covid-19 crisis and the ways in which foundational thinking can contribute to social and economic repair. These events replace our annual colloquium, which was to be held in […]

DOLAN Community Film

DOLAN is a joint venture between community groups in three deindustrialized North Wales Valleys which were formerly major centers for slate mining. The Bro Ffestiniog federation of social enterprises in one of the valleys has a community broadcast arm which has produced this short video which explains what the Foundational Economy means to them. The […]

2019 Foundational Economy Colloquium

The Collective’s 2019 Colloquium was held in Brussels on the theme of “Socio-ecological transitions: making space for the foundational”. The event was sponsored by Cosmopolis- Centre of Urban Research at the Free University, Building Brussels and Cities of Making and the organiser Sarah de Boeck  put together a full programme over the two days of […]

Short FE Film

In this short film, members of the foundational economy collective explain how and why the foundational economy matters. It was filmed at the 2019 foundational economy colloquium and produced by the colloquium organiser Sarah de Boeck.

COVID-19 UK NHS report

This report outlines how fragility was built into the UK’s hospital and public laboratory systems so that the Covid- 19 crisis was an accident waiting to happen, a normal accident. The hospital system did not have the buffer capacity needed to absorb a pandemic surge and the public health laboratory system lacked the organisational capacity […]

COVID-19 and a Welsh community

This short report comes from the small deindustrialized town of Blaenau Ffestiniog in North Wales which through the lens of official statistics  would be described as “left behind” But a different kind of close-up knowledge was obtained from a community online questionnaire about the impact of Covid-19  in May and early June 2020. Wages are […]


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