From cuts to social care to business closures to the rising gig economy, there are some huge issues facing the UK economy. Government and big business don't appear to have the answers, so a rising wave of entrepreneurs are taking matters into their own hands - by working together.
The Prime Minister's speech yesterday struck many observers as an attempt to take the middle ground in British politics vacated
Communities know the challenges they face better than anyone. However, when people feel they have no control - over their local economy, their workplace or the businesses they use - there is a crippling effect.
Sharing is big business now and, in this context, we can expect to see co-operatives becoming more and more prominent - giving people a say, supporting local communities, and providing a boost to the economy in the process.
With more than a quarter of the UK workforce now self-employed, and new evidence showing this is set to grow this year, the rise of freelancing signals a fundamental shift in the nature of work.
Having school parents on boards was an innovation introduced by Margaret Thatcher in 1980. She took school milk away. But she supported school parents as governors. I think she would still support them today.
With evidence showing that people want more control over the economy, their workplace and their communities, and a new programme of support for co-operatively run organisations, is now the time for the co-operative option?
Imagine working somewhere where you not only had a say over your own work, but could direct the organisation as a whole? A business where you had not just employee ownership, but employee control, a real stake?
If competition ends up as being a fight to the finish, then we need a new way of thinking about economic success.
Co-operative ownership might just be the best kept secret in the business world. A co-operative is a business, but a different kind of business: one which shares ownership among the people closest to it...