Dr Noel Longhurst of 3S is playing a key role in the recently launched Norwich Good Economy Commission. This new collaboration between the UEA and Norwich City Council is a 2-year active investigation into the economy of Norwich combining multi-disciplinary approaches. The project is part innovation lab, part think-tank which aims to develop a shared definition of and routes to a ‘good’ economy in the city. As a steering group member Noel is helping the commission take forward three exciting areas of activity.
The first is to open up new ways of thinking about the economy, beyond conventional metrics and statistics. This could involve exploring those aspects of the economy which are less visible and harder to measure, such as the informal ‘grey’ and ‘black’ economies, the sharing economy or ‘secondhand economies’.
The second is to explore new ways of intervening in the economy. In fulfilling this role, the commission will initiate action-based research, pilot initiatives or evaluate existing approaches, whilst learning from the best practice across the UK and elsewhere.
The third, and perhaps most important question is: What exactly is a good city economy? There has been a shift away from measuring progress in narrow economistic terms to broader understandings of ‘wellbeing’ but even these new metrics struggle to represent the multiple and diverse experiences of the economy, including many voices that rarely get heard. In the face of the profound challenges of the Climate Emergency and the ongoing digital revolution (amongst others), the commission will also open up a broader discussion around the idea of a ‘good’ city economy and how that might be achieved in the coming decades.
You can find out more about the work of the Good Economy Commission via the website: https://norwichgec.squarespace.com/