Shift Birmingham

Join our free training programme for people across Birmingham, exploring how power and resources in the city can be rebalanced to improve local economies across Birmingham. 

The programme starts in July and ends in April 2023.

Applications are now closed.

  • Are you frustrated about inequality across Birmingham and would like to see your city and community do better?
  • Are you working to make this change happen (in either a voluntary or paid capacity)?
  • Do you feel shut out of conversations about “the economy”, and think that a better grasp of how decisions about “where the money goes” are made and how things could be different, could help you make the change you want to see in your community?
  • Would you like to feel more confident talking about things like this, so you can lead conversations that will help to shift issues that matter to your community?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then join Shift Birmingham.

Applications are now closed.

What you’ll get from the course


  • Understand and get confident about economic causes and solutions to problems across the city, from housing, to climate justice to food poverty. 
  • Understand, challenge and explore alternatives to how decision makers and the media think about the economy.
  • Develop strategies to shift the economy so that it better meets your communities’ needs and priorities. How can working conditions be improved, for example?

Skills and networks

  • Build strong networks with and learn from other people creating change across the city.
  • Lead and take part in conversations asking what kind of economy your community wants and how it can be achieved.
  • Learn how to produce and publish content for publication in various channels including local media (optional).
  • Identify who has power to make change on issues you care about and how you can influence them.

Got a question for us?

Not sure if the programme is for you? Send us an email at to arrange a chat with us, find out more about the programme, and ask any questions you might have. We’d love to chat!

Why now, and why the economy?

Birmingham faces many crises including housing, work, living standards and poverty and inequality. The economy connects all of these issues. Through the economy, goods and services that we rely on are produced and exchanged, and income and wealth are created and distributed. 

How we organise the economy shapes our health and wellbeing and the sustainability of the planet. Yet, most people feel shut out of the conversation, and unable to influence the economy around them. A recent poll from Opinium showed only 1 in 5 people living across the Midlands feel they can influence decisions about the economy that affect their lives.

Learn more about Economy‘s mission.

Interested but don’t live in Birmingham? No worries we got you! Learn about how you can invite us to run a workshop.

When and where

The first and last session will take place in Birmingham in person (venue tbc). Other sessions will be online on Zoom. Dates of the core sessions will be:

  • Tuesday 19th July ’22 9.30am- 12pm in person  (venue tbc)
  • Tuesday 13th September ’22 10am-12pm on Zoom
  • Tuesday 11th October ’22 10am-12pm on Zoom
  • Tuesday 8th November ’22 10am-12pm on Zoom
  • Tuesday 10th January ’23 10am-12pm on Zoom
  • Tuesday 7th February ’23 10am-12pm on Zoom
  • Tuesday 7th March ’23 10am-12pm on Zoom
  • Tuesday 4th April ’23 10am-12pm on Zoom
  • Tuesday 2nd May ’23 in person 9.30am- 12pm (venue tbc)

There will also be additional optional online sessions (tbc) building your skills around creating written and video content, and how to engage with the media.

We’re spacing the sessions throughout the year to give you time to get to know, learn from and build strong relationships with each other, helping you to build power together and feel like part of a broader movement for the change you are working towards.


People sitting around a table having a discussion

Who’s the course for?

You don’t need to have studied economics, or feel like you need to know anything about ‘the economy’ to join this programme. In fact, if you think economics isn’t for you, then this course is. All we ask is that you:

  • Are over 18 and live in Birmingham
  • Are working on or want to work on building a better city for yourself and your community
  • If you’re doing this as part of a group then this is a community or grassroots group embedded in your community
  • Want to know more about the economic causes and solutions to issues you’re tackling
  • Are keen to connect with others across Birmingham working on various causes
  • Are committed to working in a way that tackles sexism, racism and other forms of oppression
  • Are able to commit to attending the sessions

We’re particularly keen to hear from people from communities who have historically had less power in the economy and people who have direct experience of the issues they are working on. This might include people who are: working class, women or non-binary, Black, Asian, from an ethnic minority or people of colour. We’re also keen to ensure that the programme includes people from across Birmingham.

How to apply


Applications are now closed.


Please let us know when applying for the programme if you have any access needs or if we can make any adaptations to facilitate your participation in the programme.


Logo for Birmingham City Council Neighbourhood Development & Support Unit Barrow Cadbury Trust logo


We are grateful to funding from the Barrow Cadbury Trust and Birmingham City Council’s Neighbourhood Development & Support Unit, which allows us to offer this programme for free.