In this blog, Tree Watson, the newest addition to the RE Support Team as Co-Director, introduces herself:
Hi I’m Tree. Some of you might remember me from back in the day when Rethinking Economics first got going. I studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Manchester University and was a founding member of the Post-Crash Economics Society. After graduating I was part of setting up the umbrella organisation that Rethinking Economics is today. As well as doing a lot of the back office stuff, I worked on the Curriculum Review, the Schools Project, the Employers’ Report and the Rethinking Reader to name but a few!
Since then I’ve had a bit of a break from economics, working in a pub and then as a construction manager in social housing. It turns out that no one ever really leaves; I’m back to take on the role of co-director and I’m finding a lot of my old cohort are still involved one way or another. Figuring out how we can best maintain those connections as our movement matures and grows over the next few years will be a key priority of my work on network development, as will be strengthening the development of national and regional networks. I’m keen to connect with student organisers and Rethinkers who’ve moved on into civil society. So if you’d like to chat about your ideas for building the movement, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
I’m excited to get back in the game. It’s a strange time to be starting a new job, and who knows when I’ll actually be going into the office, but I look forward to seeing lots of old and new faces over the coming weeks and months (albeit via zoom). The international gathering will be replaced by a digital festival; whilst it is disappointing that we will not be able to meet each other in person, it is exciting that a new online space will enable Rethinkers old and new to connect with each other across the world. This is not to dismiss the fact that for huge sections of our global population, access to online activity is hampered by connectivity, but to celebrate that lack of access to air travel at least is becoming less of a barrier to building international communities.
It was in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis that we asked our economics lecturers why they couldn’t teach us anything about the world we were living in. The movement for pluralism and a better economics has grown exponentially since then (you can read reflections on that, by myself and others here). We don’t know what the economic fallout of this pandemic will be, or how our economists will respond, but what we do know is that this crisis will only serve to demonstrate that the call to Rethink Economics is louder than ever.