Compass release new report on 45 Degree Change
Compass has released a report, 45º Change: Transforming Society from Below and Above, authored by Neal Lawson and supported by Rethinking Poverty. It explains the theory of 45 Degree Change, why it is happening, why it is needed and how it can be achieved. The report states: ‘it is the start of a theory and practice of change that could help us build a good society’. It was featured in a recent Guardian article A new politics? That lies with the people, not the Independent Group in which Neal Lawson described it as:
‘the potential meeting point of bottom-up emerging activity and top-down state support – the diagonal faultline through which a new society can and must emerge. This line is the place for a truly new politics.’
The theory of 45 Degree Change was originally set out in a piece by Compass’s Neal Lawson and Rethinking Poverty’s Caroline Hartnell, 45 Degree Change: Where top-down meets bottom-up. This piece states that while
‘new forms of collaborative action … light up the sky like fireworks and we see a glimpse of the good society ahead of us… these initiatives can’t be sustained or systematised and so we return to darkness. This is where we need the state – to help resource, legitimise and regulate in favour of these emerging collaborative and socially responsible organisations.’
Compass’s new pamphlet describes itself as ‘simply an opening argument; an outline of the broad approach to the type of transformative change we need to see happen’. In sets out Compass’s ‘next steps’ through its work through the ‘Common Platform’, engaging with various groups in order to continue learning and building alliances. Working with civil society organisations and state actors, Compass wants to work out ‘what is happening, why and how’, as well as understanding some of the barriers to scale both groups face. It also wants to ‘build bridges across the 45° fault line’ by ‘developing relationships and understanding between people and organisations on either side of the line’.
The report then highlights some of the initiatives that already exemplify the spirit of 45 Degree Change, across civil society, the state and new media, in the economy and in politics. This includes Citizens UK – a chapter of which, Tyne & Wear Citizens, we feature in #theplacewewant – which ‘mobilises communities across a range of issues such as the living wage and immigrants’ rights’. Also mentioned is the ‘Preston model’ of local wealth-building as pioneered by CLES.
Read the report here.