Our NEKS mission
There is nothing like seeing for believing. As part of our mission to open up economic thinking, we are using New Economic Knowledge Services, a subsidiary of PEP, to work with groups around the UK to apply new economic thinking to solve real world problems. We want to demonstrate models that will then be open source so others can learn from them and apply to solve their problems. Meet our expert network.
Our immediate focus
We are currently focussing on working in the Agri-food area as we see potential for significant application of innovative economic thinking and have expertise in that policy area. We see various pressures creating the potential for system change:
- UK agricultural policy is going through significant change moving from providing subsidies based on land area to providing ‘public funds for public benefits’, mainly environmental benefits. Developments in the UK could also effectively provide a ‘sandbox’ for experimentation that could influence wider EU policy.
- Globally there is an increasing recognition of the importance of ecosystem services provided by land management and an interest in developing institutions that support their funding.
- Interest is growing in agro-ecology and regenerative agriculture which can only succeed economically with new systems that can deliver the required revenue streams from multiple products and services generated.
- Growing food insecurity, which current inflation can only exascerbate, is driving the search for system change to take over from sticking plasters such as food banks and provide healthy and sustainable food to meet everyone’s needs.
These are complex systems involving multiple stakeholders and significant uncertainty, and cry out for innovative economic thinking. Our current work includes:
- supporting the Ribble River Trust in collaboration with Co-operative and Mutual Solutions Ltd to design institutional models to allow land managers in the Ribble Valley in Lancashire to gain collaborative funders for long-term ecological regeneration based on an approach set out here. We will also look for other such groups to support going forward.
- getting funding to explore how local currencies can be used to ‘bridge the gap’ between the availability of locally and sustainably produced food and those suffering from food insecurity based on thinking set out here.
We are building a network to work with including experts in:
- Green finance, local currencies and environmental markets;
- Agricultural, land and environmental economics, policy and regulation;
- Designing and facilitating processes to develop governance structures;
- Cooperative governance and law;
- Community funding for ecosystem services.
Please contact us if you are interested in joining our network.