REVIEWING OUR HISTORY AND MAKING PLANS

27th August 2016, 10am-4pm
Croft Street Community Centre, Lincoln LN2 5AZ

Please join us at this event to look back at our activities
since 2011 and make plans for our future.

MORNING SESSION (SSC MEMBERS ONLY)

10:00–12:00 – SSC on reflection

A chance for all past and present members of the Social Science Centre to reflect on their experiences in the Centre, our activities, roads we have not taken, changes we should make and hopes for the future. Highlights to be shared with others later in the day.

LUNCH (public, everyone welcome)

12:30–1:30

AFTERNOON SESSION (public, all welcome)

1:30–4:00 – Co-operative Higher Education in Lincoln

Ideas and making plans for the term/year. It has already been suggested we run courses on Brexit, women political writers, ‘where is capitalism going next?’ and the co-operative movement in Lincoln and the UK.

What is the SSC?

We practice a kind of higher education that explores the everyday experiences of our members – who are both students and teachers – through concepts and ideas developed in the social sciences. This includes making critical sense of social problems (like ‘austerity’, racism and nationalism or the privatisation of schools) and important local and global events like ‘Brexit’, learning how they affect us and how we might have an effect on them. Our past courses – The Social Science Imagination, Co-operation and Education, and Know How: Do-It-Ourselves Higher Education – all used different approaches for this learning.

We are a co-operative organisation owned and run by our members. This means that we not only experience higher education, but decide together what this learning should be, how it works and why it matters. All our members can help run the Centre by taking part in democratic decision-making processes and collective ownership and responsibility. No one pays for learning or gets paid for teaching at the SSC because we do not believe knowledge should be for sale. Members with financial means make small monthly contributions to the co-operative to pay for room hire and other running costs. For more information about the SSC, visit our website: socialsciencecentre.org.uk.

Why do we need co-operative higher education?

The Social Science Centre, Lincoln was established in 2011 when the UK Government stopped funding the teaching of social science and other subjects that were deemed ‘non-essential’ in English universities, and raised student tuition fees at the same time. It was also born out of a deeper worry that as universities transform themselves into businesses and focus more on satisfying the short-term, competitive, profit-driven demands of the capitalist market, people are denied opportunities for higher learning and critical and creative thinking (and opportunities for any higher learning not linked to enormous amounts of personal debt).

The state of higher education in England has not improved since that time. Policies to raise student tuition fees were followed by policies to reduce need-based educational grants, and then by policies that changed remaining grants into more student loans. There is evidence that these fees deter people from state schools from applying to university. There is evidence that students are limiting their choices in study based on vocational and ’employability’ criteria which are based on flawed measurements of ‘return on investment’. There has been a very significant fall in the number of mature students applying to university.

At the SSC, we believe even more strongly today that higher learning oriented towards intellectual values of critical thinking, experimentation, sharing, peer review, co-operation, collaboration, openness, debate and constructive disagreement is an essential part of making a better future for us all. This is why we are working to create alternative spaces of higher education whose purpose, societal value and existence do not depend on the interests and decisions of the powerful, places where everyone can learn and everyone can teach.

Five Years On: The Social Science Centre AGM, 2016

The Social Science Centre will be holding its Annual General Meeting on 7th May at Croft Street Community Centre, Lincoln, LN2 5AX, from 11 am to 4 pm. (map)

The first part of the meeting will be taken up with business matters as well as financial reporting. Lunch will be provided.

After lunch we will be looking at recent research on co-operative higher education: Beyond Private and Public: A Framework for Co-operative Higher Education. This research was carried out by Mike Neary and Joss Winn, and funded by the Independent Social Research Foundation.

Please see minutes from last year’s AGM

TIMETABLE FOR THE DAY

11.00 – 12.30  Social Science Centre (SSC) Annual General Meeting

Agenda

  1. Approve Minutes
  2. Matters Arising
  3. Review SSC Constitution
  4. SSC financial report
  5. Proposed new SSC in Manchester
  6. AOB

12.30 – 1.30 Lunch

1.30 – 3.30 Beyond Private and Public: A Framework for Co-operative Higher Education. Mike and Joss to present this research followed by a discussion of how the outcomes of this research might be taken up by the SSC as a model for its future development.

3.30 – 4.00 Review the day and close.

Resurrecting the Commons: A Perspective from Scotland (18 March, Lincoln)

Resurrecting the Commons: A Perspective from Scotland

By Lincoln Voices and Rushton & Tyman

Register here 

SSC scholars and supporters might be interested in this event next week…

“Lincoln Voices resident artists Emma Rushton and Derek Tyman, as part of their project Gnawed by Rats have invited Andy Wightman to meet and talk to Lincoln residents and launch “Conversations on the Commons”.

Andy Wightman is a land activist and writer specialising in land rights, power and democracy and a leading advocate of land reform and community land rights in Scotland. Over the past 20 years his work has focussed on land tenure, land ownership, land reform and, more recently community land rights. His published writing includes Community Land Rights: A Citizen’s Guide (2009) and The Poor Had No Lawyers (2010).

“Conversations on the Commons” is a series of walks planned for over the coming few months. Emma and Derek will invite small groups of people to walk with them on Lincoln’s South, West and Cow Paddle commons to discuss ‘the commons’ as land and ‘as all those things, such as water and health-care, education and the environment, that are held in common for the good of all but are increasingly under threat.

Gnawed by Rats is part of the Lincoln Voices programme of art exploring the contemporary relevance of Magna Carta and The Charter of the Forest.”

WHEN Friday, 18 March 2016 from 18:30 to 21:00 (GMT) – Add to Calendar

WHERE The Changing Rooms – Pavilion Building West Common, Lincoln LN1 1SE, United Kingdom – View Map

Autonomous pedagogical experiments by social movements in Brazil and the UK

From 13–17 October, two researchers will be in Lincoln to talk about new educational experiments in England and Brazil. They have invited members of the Social Science Centre to collaborate on a project in which we can share our experiences, knowledges and questions about this movement, which is becoming important for many social movements and educators across the world. They are interested in issues of self-organization, self-management, the creation of informal education projects, and the development of self-determined knowledges and pedagogies (ways of organising learning). This is also a rare opportunity to learn first-hand about the work of a school run by the Movement of Rural Landless Workers in Brazil, the Escola Nacional Florestan Fernandez, and to explore possibilities for future collaborations. The title of the project is ‘Autonomous pedagogical experiments by social movements in Brazil and the UK’.
  • October 14th, 6-9pm, Croft Street Community Centre: Join Ana Dinerstein and Paolo Vittoria for a conversation to share experiences and ideas (SSC members only)
  • October 15th, 1:30-4pm, University of Lincoln, Joseph Banks Laboratories, 2C04: Public lecture by Paolo Vittoria on ‘Social movements, popular education and universities: a proposal for an international network’ (public seminar open to all)

Reciprocity saving pools: An alternative to debt-based money

Savings pools
Building community resilience and helping us move away from debt-based money, Reciprocity Savings Pools offer a way for people to keep money local and enable each other to take out loans at zero interest, based on the Swedish JAK bank, but at a much smaller scale.
 
Renew Involvement Centre
Mint Lane, Lincoln. LN1 1UD.
 
Thursday 1st October, 7pm
The Social Science Centre – Lincoln’s centre for free, cooperative higher education – is hosting this seminar by New Zealanders Bryan & Joanne Innes from Living Economies.  I went to their seminar at the International Permaculture Convergence, and they have kindly agreed to share it with us in Lincoln.  It’s brilliant – come!