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What Are We?

Common Weal is a people-powered think and do tank in Scotland. We develop policy on and campaign for social and economic equality, for wellbeing and the environment, for quality of life, for peace and justice. 

We seek to promote thinking, practice and campaigning on a wide range of social, economic and cultural ares. Some of our biggest issues are social and economic equality, participative democracy, environmental sustainability, wellbeing, quality of life, peace, justice and cooperation on the left of the political spectrum. We are not affiliated to any political party but work in partnership with a wide range of organisations. 

We have a publishing arm called CommonPrint which produces books. We try to be innovative and develop projects which might not be immediately associated with a think tank – we ran a fringe show at the Edinburgh festival with 25 back-to-back political cabarets, we held the biggest exhibition of political art in Scotland for decades and we piloted a not-for-profit marketplace website which promoted the work of hundreds of small Scottish producers. We also run an independent news service called CommonSpace and have a network of independent local groups.

Some of our biggest issues are social and economic equality, participative democracy, environmental sustainability, wellbeing, quality of life, peace, justice and cooperation on the left of the political spectrum.

We are governed by a Board drawn from a diverse range of activist circles in Scotland and they oversee our work and set our agenda. Our constitution guarantees that the Board has gender equality. But we are a fast and responsive organisation which is able quickly to look at and deal with big issues as and when they arise.

We are almost wholly funded by small, regular donations from members of the public – our average monthly donation is £10. Will do much work collaboratively and will share project costs where we can, and from time to time we will carry out commissions for organisations whose values we share. We also make some income from merchandise (as well as publishing books we produce T-shirts, hoodies, mugs and more). 

Common Weal has a policy of seeking never to exclude anyone from having access to what we do because of cost and so all our materials are freely available without charge and when we run events we aim only to cover our costs, but we do sometimes make a little profit from events. We accept no commercial advertising of any sort (including on CommonSpace) and will not accept any source of money which might be seen to compromise our fundamental mission.

We are very committed to supporting a new generation of thinkers, activists and creatives and provide lots of volunteering opportunities. If you are interested in this or in anything else at all about Common Weal, just get in touch.