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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

Report on Austrian key workers

Die Leistungsträgerinnen des Alltagslebens or The High Performers of Everyday Life is an important new research report from the Austrian members of the foundational economy collective. They explain how Covid 19 has highlighted the importance of the key workers in foundational activities who, as the “ heroes of everyday life”, have kept things going by […]

FE 2.0 and new wood report

Earlier FE research focused on FE 1.0, the assembly of material and providential reliance systems developed after 1850 to meet the current generation’s essential needs and Covid 19 reminds us of the continuing importance of maintaining these systems. But in FE 2.0 we need to build new resource and conversion reliance systems which safeguard the […]

New working paper on UBS

The arguments made by the foundational economy collective overlap with those made by other like-minded groups and individuals. The most obvious synergy is with those pressing the case for universal basic services because foundational thinkers and basic service advocates agree that individual income is not enough when collective consumption matters greatly. The UBS concept is […]

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 […]


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