Politics goes far beyond the Westminster bubble. We need to build power from the bottom up.

Ruairidh Paton introduces The World Transformed festival. "For us, politics is so much more than meetings, votes and the Westminster bubble. Politics is everywhere – in our workplaces, classrooms and communities."

September 19, 2018 · 4 min read
An assembly at The World Transformed 2017

This article is featured in the latest issue of our magazine: ‘Creating the Future’, a collaboration with The World Transformed. Subscribe now for more news, views and in-depth analysis. 

The political events of the last few years have demonstrated the desire in Britain for a different kind of politics and a new society – one that takes power from the establishment and puts it into the hands of the many. The World Transformed (TWT) is about channelling this energy and passion for change into a sustainable, active and self-educating movement with the power to deliver a genuinely transformative political programme and make real change in our communities now.

Since its first festival, organised to coincide with the 2016 Labour conference, TWT has been mixing big names with the most inspiring grassroots voices, tackling topics that are often overlooked as well as those that are most pressing for a future Corbyn government. We showcase politics as it should be: dynamic, engaging and people-powered. Inspired by the success of TWT 2016 and 2017 – with thousands of attendees and hundreds of hours of discussion, debate and parties – our vision for 2018 is more ambitious than ever.

With the 2017 general election behind us, now is the moment to build on the success of Labour’s manifesto and advance in a more radical direction. That’s why, as well as gearing up for future elections, we are also looking far beyond parliament. We need a grassroots movement with the power to not only elect a socialist Labour government but overcome the strategic challenges we will face (see page 16). This means platforming organisations and initiatives outside party politics, exploring their strategies and figuring out how Labour can learn from and support them (page 32).

This year’s festival, again taking place alongside the Labour conference in Liverpool, will also situate our movement in a global context – one characterised by the rise of the far right and authoritarian leaders such as Trump and Erdoğan – and the opportunities we have for building a new socialist internationalism (page 22). We will be welcoming activists from as far away as Chama cha Wazalendo (Alliance for Change and Transparency) from Tanzania and the Democratic Socialists of America, as well as from across Europe, to share ideas and practices and forge links of international solidarity.

TWT 2018 aims to be more than just a four-day festival. We want to harness the collective experience and knowledge of attendees to build political education initiatives nationally. We will be hosting sessions on political education (page 20), exploring the different forms it takes and creating space for the TWT team and others to share skills and provide encouragement to those interested in organising in their own communities.

For us, politics is so much more than meetings, votes and the Westminster bubble. Politics is everywhere – in our workplaces, classrooms and communities. It radiates out beyond the walls of our events through social media, study groups, art, music, sport and more. The World Transformed is politics like you’ve never experienced before. Come along from 22-25 September in Liverpool and be part of imagining, creating and demanding the future.


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