Activism: Get informed, then get involved
Ben first got into activism at university. He realised how important it is to read and learn - to get informed - as well as to take action.
Activism is as much about research as it is about getting out into the world.
Ben is interested in housing and the economy. He investigates things like rent prices, people’s wages and our rights in the workplace.
Through his research, he decided he wanted to help lower-paid workers: “My activism involves working with cafe staff, cleaners, security guards in the university. Trying to get them better wages and better conditions at work.”
Learning from the past
Ben believes research is important. Learning how people dealt with issues in the past can help us to understand the issues people face now. We can use that knowledge to bring about positive change.
We have to understand the causes of the problems we currently face.
That is also why he has written a book about the social classes in British society. His book looks at Britain’s past, and how what class you come from might affect your future prospects.
Teaching young people
Ben wants to help other people understand the economy. He hopes that everyone - not just academics - can get excited about economics.
It’s something that affects all our lives.
Ben runs workshops where young people can discuss alternative ways to manage the economy. Amar recently took part in one of these. He says: “Whether or not you take an active interest, politics and the economy really does have a material effect on your life.”
Biba was also there: “I’m really interested in seeing how we can create a fairer economy by distributing wealth more evenly, getting more people involved in having a say in how their economy is run.”
A new economy
Ben thinks it is important for people to question what they currently accept about society and the economy. He is teaching them a form of critical thinking. Learning to think this way can help you come up with new ideas of how to do things.
Ben says it is also good to listen to the points of view of a range of people: “When you come together with different people you can have so much more collective power.”
Ben says there are many ways to keep yourself informed about money and the economy: “There’s so much information online. There are so many amazing events, probably in your town or local city, that are dealing with these issues.”
His message is to think and learn, then get involved.