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A new common sense

Updated: Jun 3, 2021

Our new video: A new common sense

Prepared during the first COVID lockdown, for people who don't want to return to "business as usual". Is this you? Are you inspired by parts of our new video? Looking for next steps as COVID lockdown eases? Part of a group supporting people locally?

A partial lockdown is likely to continue for a long time. Community groups formed for mutual support in the first stages of lockdown will have more freedom, but will also a lot of challenges: 

  • a lot of people with very little money, looking for useful work

  • many vulnerable people still in lockdown needing some support, and a few that need a lot of support

  • using money is awkward when shopping for each other, (little cash, cheques and bank transfers cumbersome, do you need to keep records?) 

Reinventing communities

Our top tips:

  • Find and join with other people in your community with similar views. Talk to them about the starting points for your community. Perhaps use our video as a focus for discussion. What do people want? What would they like to offer?

  • Building a sense of community is the first step, so help each other and hold whatever social events you can. Yes, COVID parties (spaced out or virtual) are important!

  • Use each other’s services, locally as much as possible: doing each other favours, especially to help people live with less money, buying and selling from each other.

  • Become part of the Planetmakers project. We are building a set of tools for communities like yours. You can help us try out the early ‘proof-of-concept’ version. Would your group like to be a pilot location? Contact us at

How we can help

We want to address the problems groups are beginning to have and that are likely to get more important as people realise that the lockdown is not just for a few weeks, but will extend for a long time in limited form.

1. Communication tools: You may be using FaceBook, email, WhatsApp, etc. and also telephones and notice boards. We are building better tools, for when you need them:

  • Your own, locally hosted video conferencing for small groups.

  • Your own local social media, that you control, for discussion, votes/polls, offers and want. Locally hosted, if you want, means on your own servers, your own hardware and software, so your data is safe and you won’t get spam and malware through it.

2. Who we are: A local directory of people, businesses and organisations, designed to build a network of trust by showing connections, reputation.

3 . A community fund and accounts: easy payments partially avoiding cash and banks, group can pay people to do needed jobs, recording volunteer work and doing favours to appreciate those that contribute a lot.

4. Training, support and advice for organisers. We are seeing this as a kind of franchise. Although all of our offerings will be free and open source, we will also work directly with communities to help them get started or develop, and will charge/need funding for that service. 

How you can help us

We have a core of people with huge experience with this, and pre-COVID work that this builds upon. We now need more people to help with project management, funding, promotion and development. Contact us at

Video credits

Our video was inspired by the pictures Alex Brenchley was creating for this website for the Planetmakers project. We hope it will really come into its own as the lockdown lifts and people ask “What Now?”

The New Common Sense video was created and developed by Gary Alexander, Madeline Lees, David Alexander and Daisy Lees, with graphics by Alex Brenchley. Special thanks to Anna Mudeka and Maty Sene Carpenter, Samira, Clive, Aicha, Sinder, Rama, Mimi, Arthur, Max, Jane, and many thanks to Ali, Hamidou, Vibha, AH, Renata, Keely, Dulcie, Sam, Basil, Jon and Angela.. 

Spread the video as widely as you can, putting your own video selfie as a response.

Contact us at if you want to make your own version in another language.

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Who We Are

The Planetmakers Core Team is a cooperative partnership, Planetmakers LLP. It is registered with Companies House in the UK Company No: OC428500, and is a member of Coops UK. Its function is to coordin


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