About

This is a site for people who don’t want to give their custom to the corporate sector any more. It can be very difficult and time-consuming to discover non-corporate sources, and then to work out how to switch – not to mention whether you can trust the organisations and businesses that you’ve found. We aim to make that much easier for you.

Noncorporate.org is a workers’ co-operative with four associate advisors drawn from the non-corporate / community sector, and a range of other advisors for specific topics.

Here is our theory of change.

 

 

Directors

Dave Darby is founder director of Lowimpact.org, providing ‘do-it-yourself’ information on 200+ low-impact topics, from natural building and renewable energy to growing food, craft skills and bushcraft. He founded Lowimpact.org (as Low-impact Living Initiative, or LILI) when he was a member of Redfield Community, a registered housing co-op with 18 acres in Buckinghamshire, where decisions are made by consensus and evening meals eaten together. His role is managing website content, blogging and fundraising.

Dil Green was an architect and builder for 30 years, working on projects from the Wellcome Wing extension to London’s Science Museum to an award-wining eco-surgery in East Sussex. He has now re-focused on the digital sphere, on the basis that the energy and possibility of these technologies represents the best hope for building a systemic shift in human culture. Working on: Project for a Progressive Ethics, DadaMac.net, mutual-credit money systems and an app for physiotherapists. Wider interest in mutual organisational structures – places to grow experience and capacity for autonomy and empowerment. He blogs at digital-anthropology. He looks after all things technical.

Sophie Paterson did a three-year stint managing the Routes into Languages programme at Newcastle University. Herself a linguist, she spent a year in Jordan as an undergraduate student. An aspiring self-builder and School of Natural Building trainee, she lives on a farm in Devon, where she is looking to set up a practical course programme. She looks after promotion, social media, the blogs, publishing and online courses.

 

 

Associate advisors

Paul Bragman has 25 years experience of working with housing associations, local authorities, community and voluntary organisations, and NGOs in the UK and overseas. He provides community and economic development services to tackle inequality, achieve social justice and deliver tangible change to local communities. Paul is an NCVO Approved Consultant, A Design Council CABE Built Environment Expert and a Big Local Rep for Local Trust in two neighbourhoods. He is an Associate Consultant with Campbell Tickell and the Community Development Foundation.

Cate Chapman works as co-director of the Ecological Land Co-operative, a social enterprise working to create affordable access to land for small-scale ecological farming in England through the creation of low-impact residential smallholdings. Cate started her career in the student movement, working for the NUS and member unions, and has also worked as a freelance copy writer/editor. Cate currently runs a small copy-editing business, Skylark Editing; she also occasionally writes, and is part of the editorial team for the Dark Mountain Project, where she has also contributed work.

Frances Northrop is an advisor for the the NEF / Co-ops UK Community Economic Development Programme and a Director of Totnes Community Development Society (an IPS ben com) which exists to hold land and buildings in community ownership for activities which meet the needs of residents. Her background is in community-led development including co-production around health and social care, the establishment of community and social enterprises, relationship building across three tiers of local government, regeneration and asset transfer and management.

Scarlett Penn is the co-ordinator of WWOOF UK, and a director of the global Federation of WWOOF Organisations. WWOOF offers an excellent way to ‘escape the rat-race’ or to experience organic farming, by hooking up organic farmers and smallholders with volunteers. For a long time Scarlett has lived and farmed with other people in intentional communities, hosting many volunteers along the way. Recently, she’s taken on a smallholding of her own near Ludlow, Shropshire.

 

 

Advisors

Maresa Bossano is the co-ordinator of the Community-Supported Agriculture Network. She set up and ran Moose’s Kitchen – a local, organic, vegan cafe in St Leonards on Sea; she worked for Sustain for five years, managing the Food Co-ops Project, part of Making Local Food Work and also as Five-a-Day Co-ordinator for Hastings Primary Care Trust, which included setting up Hastings Farmers Market and The Community Fruit and Veg Project, a social enterprise and veg box scheme.

Josef Davies-Coates is co-founder of The Open Co-op; associate of P2P Foundation (and occasional contributor to their blog); served on the board of Co-operatives London (and built and managed the website); previously campaign coordinator at Media Reform Coalition; (started the London Media Democracy Meetup; organised the Media Democracy Festival; and much more. He’s advising us on platform co-ops, mutual exchange systems and more.

Jon Halle is a founder director and staff member at Sharenergy. In this role he has a wide remit from detailed support of individual community energy projects through details of technical or planning matters to a nationwide strategic involvement with public, private and third sector bodies. Jon has a wide knowledge of renewable energy and works alongside technical experts across the technologies. His key roles within Sharenergy are in financial modelling, co-operative and share offer creation, site finding, landowner agreements, marketing and outreach.

Barbara Jones of Straw Works is the country’s premier straw-bale builder, and is advising on natural building and the construction industry. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, manufacturing and commerce (FRSA) in 2009. She was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from Women in Construction in 2011 and received a Woman of Outstanding Achievement Award from UKRC in 2009.

Linda Kaucher, founder of the Stop TTIP UK campaign, has critically researched EU trade agreements, alerting the public to them and encouraging opposition to them, for 16 years. It is in these deals that transnational corporations gain legal  rights, fixed in international trade treaties. Therefore attention to, and action against, international trade agreements, including any that the UK, outside of the EU engages with, is essential in countering the power of transnational corporations. Here’s Linda on the Keiser Report.

Alex Lawrie is a founder-director of the Ecological Land Co-operative and a co-operative development worker for Somerset Co-operative Services CIC. Before joining SCS he co-founded Stepping Stones and Cornerstone Housing co-ops, Footprint Workers’ Co-op and Somerset Co-op CLT. He is the author of Empowering the Earth and Simply Finance.

Simon Lennane is an NHS GP in Herefordshire. Simon has an interest in wellbeing and social prescribing, which uses non-medical sources of support in the community to address issues like loneliness and de-medicalise health conditions. In his spare time he grows fruit and makes cider organically, and is also an advocate for and our advisor on Linux and open source software.

Micky Metts is an owner of Agaric, a worker-owned technology cooperative based in Boston, Hamburg, Managua and Minneapolis. She is a member of the Leadership Committee at May First / People Link and serves as liaison between the Solidarity Economy Network (SEN) and The United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives.  As a public speaker, Micky appears at several events throughout the year. She is a member of the Free Software Foundation and Drupal.org, two organizations with communities based on free software, and is a published author contributing to the book, Ours to Hack and to Own.

Cath Muller is on a mission to move people and resources into co-operatives. Through living & working in Cornerstone Housing Co-op and Footprint Workers Co-op (thanks to Alex Lawrie!), she’s been at the heart of the Radical Routes federation of radical co-ops for around 20 years. She’s co-authored recent editions of ‘How to Set Up a Workers Co-op‘ and ‘How to Set Up a Housing Co-op‘, and is an Associate of Co-operative Business Consultants.

Daniel Scharf is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and for over 40 years has provided advice on land use planning in the public, private and voluntary sectors. He has contributed to Practical Self-sufficiency, Undercurrents, the three Rural Resettlement Handbooks and the journal of the Town & Country Planning Association. Daniel’s particular interest in and ideas for using the planning system to regenerate local food systems and to provide affordable housing through planning at national, local and neighbourhood levels are developed on his blog.

Matthew Slater develops software for complementary currencies. He co-founded Community Forge, a Swiss NGO which free hosts software for LETS and timebanks; he co-developed the Trading Floor Game, a workshop introducing the subject of money to beginners; he co-authored the Money & Society MOOC, a free masters level multidisciplinary online course. He co-drafted the Credit Commons white paper, a proposal for a global solidarity economy money system, based on mutual credit principles. He lives as a nomad and largely without money.

Oliver Swann, much to his shame, spent most of his career in the corporate world, mainly in telecoms, oil and management consulting. He has decades of media, marketing and strategic experience that makes him a valuable sounding block for our organisation. Oliver doesn’t just talk marketing he practices it with considerable success having gathered over 2 million social media followers to Natural Homes, a non-corporate, open source network that supports natural builders and enthusiasts.

Graham Woodruff founded the Independent Money Alliance in 2014 to help other groups to launch their own independent currencies, supporting them through shared knowledge and technology, best practice and with anything else they may need. He is the CTO at Bristol Pound, the UK’s only city wide currency and is responsible for their innovative electronic currency. He is also a director of the Real Economy food project, co-founded the Bristol Drawing School and is a fellow of the RSA.