The Peoples Cooperative
My name is Phil Smith and I am a co-founder and chairman of the trustees of this co-operative movement; a family man, a father and a grandfather who has only recently gotten round to appreciating that we need to regain the power and influence in this world in order to leave something good for those who follow in our footsteps.
Born and bred in Cambridge, England, the son of a gipsy father and aristocratic mother (the ultimate rags to riches love affair) I completed a formal education and moved into business – first, to work in my father’s haulage and removals business but then to find my own feet in the corporate world. I worked for such corporate giants as the Prudential Assurance Company, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co and the Huntsman Corporation; from sales agent to regional manager, UK sales manager, European General Manager and, ultimately as European Managing Director, living and working in Germany for 5 years. It was at this time that I was elected to the position of Chairman of the European PVC Film Manufacturing Association (EPFMA) and then re-elected for a second term. Nothing very environmentally-friendly in those organisations at the time, I hear you say! But the experience of running large organisations and chairing key associations will, I feel, have helped me to develop into the individual I am today, able to play a worthwhile role in the formation and running of the co-operative and the foundation.
After returning to England, I lived first in Surrey and then moved northwards, to Cheshire, where I still live today. Here, I became Chief Executive of an OFEX-listed company and led it to a listing on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange (AIM) raising circa £5million in the process, so I understand about funding and financing. Over the past few years I decided that big is not necessarily beautiful, especially in the corporate world of dog eat dog, so I started looking around to put something back and, about six or seven years ago, was introduced to Emlyn Mousley, the brains and ideas man behind this journey we are embarking upon. I now sit on the board of trustees of two not-for-profit organisations, Save the Earth being one.
So, I certainly wouldn’t describe myself as a natural environmentalist and I don’t understand a lot of what “being green” is all about – but I’m learning fast! I’m definitely not an activist but I now see you don’t need to be an activist if you belong to a well-thought-out movement of like-minded individuals, most of whom know a good deal more than I do but who all respect and value each other’s contributions to the whole. By the people, for the people – and every member gets a vote.
One thing I know is that I am is a granddad to four beautiful grandchildren who will only be better off and live in a safer, more settled society if changes are made – and soon! We cannot leave it any later to make those changes – to bring about the change we wish to see in this world so that our children and grandchildren can benefit and stop living in a world of hatred, famine and war.
Interests; family, F1 motor racing, the new sport of Stingball®, cooking, health & fitness.
Martin Dwyer Co-Founder & Treasurer
As a child I had the privilege and good fortune to have wonderfully nurturing parents who encouraged my obsessive interest in science, which has been my guiding light throughout my life, drawing inspiration from great physicists of the past and present – Isaac Newton, Einstein, Dirac, and especially the charismatic Richard Feynman. Following school I gained a degree in Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, in 1977 specialising in theoretical physics, then was in electronics for 3 years before entering Guy’s Hospital Medical School as a mature student. In 1986 I became qualified as a doctor and have worked in the NHS up until now. For the past 18 years I have been a GP in my home ‘steel’ town of Scunthorpe.
Science is the pursuit of truth, about how the Universe in which we find ourselves, works. The scientific method requires complete objectivity and a readiness to reject a treasured ‘theory’ when it fails to be consistent with evidence, or measurements from the real world. In science it is necessary to be wary of ‘common sense’, which can be misleading, and the real world can turn out to be very different from that which we assume, such as the bizarre, baffling and deeply counter-intuitive nature of quantum mechanics. Also essential in the quest for truth, is an understanding of errors which can arise in data and observations, and various forms of ‘bias’ which must be allowed for and eliminated as far as possible. Because of this, very few ‘facts’ can be asserted with complete certainty, but must be accompanied by some estimate of degree of certainty or probability.
Up until 2009, I passively supported the Labour Party but became disillusioned with them due to their pandering to corporate interests, and yielding to the prevailing free-market fundamentalist orthodoxy which has, since its inception half a century ago, resulted in a massive and socially corrosive, concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a very few, and brought humanity to the brink of ruin! Since the time of Thatcher and Reagan, ‘de-regulated capitalism’ has held sway and it has been held as self-evident truth, that market forces will always deliver the optimal outcome, whereas markets have no memory or intelligence, and are indifferent to the fate of humankind!
The explosion of scientific knowledge and technological advance in medicines, communication, transportation and machines that do work for us, that has occurred in the past century has greatly improved the quality of life for the more fortunate members of the human race, though not for everyone. To accomplish this we have learned to harness ‘fossil fuels’, the solar energy that was captured photosynthetically millions of years ago and which became trapped underground as coal, oil and gas. It provided each and every one of us with a hundred slaves to do our work, and freed us from the constraint of having to live off what the land can provide, allowing the population to grow well beyond the Darwinian limit that this cruelly imposed and at the same time enjoy a much more comfortable and improved quality of life.
Alas, we have become exquisitely dependent on continual access to fossil fuels, without which our machines, workplaces, transportation and even our food supply quickly come to a standstill. Moreover, this dependence on oil causes us to continually have to scour the Earth for new reserves in increasingly hostile environments and access to it and other dwindling natural resources such as potable water, now gives rise to war!
Worse than all of this, however, the release of millions of years worth of buried carbon into the atmosphere within just a century or so, added to our incontinent abuse of the environment and destruction of her rain-forests, has set the Earth on a path to a new state, with a changed climate that will almost certainly prove be very hostile to human life.
I am privileged to be a founder-member of the ‘Save the Earth’ cooperative, which will seek solutions to the problems, some of which already face us.
We hope to seed a new movement which will grow and challenge the status quo, allowing the people to come together in a new way, and all have the opportunity to have their say and contribute their skills and knowledge.
Solutions are needed at every level – personal, community, cities, national, and the World.. which will change the way we interact with the Earth, becoming sustainable and minimally harmful to the environment. Human Rights must also be respected and apply not just to the affluent West.
The cooperative will raise funds by crowd-funding and other means, for projects at various levels, owned communally, aspiring to the highest ethical standards. We will also, if needed, help to fund targeted research in areas vital for the success of our transition to sustainable living, such as renewable energy and storage, and lobby governments with properly thought out proposals for positive change.
I hope to be able to use my previous training in statistics and physical sciences to assist the Cooperative in assessing the feasibility of schemes in order for them to be consistent with our best known scientific knowledge.
Stephanie Brereton – Co-Founder & Head of Retail Acquisitions
My name is Steph. I am 55 yrs. old and live in Berkshire UK. I currently work for a conveyor belt company mainly serving the recycling industries throughout the UK. I am responsible for all our companies accreditations, including ISO 9001 ISO 14001 Safe contractor and PICS auditing. I am also responsible for the health and safety activities of our workforce, providing them with safe methods of works and eliminating any risks associated with that.
As a second job I also worked as a PA to tetraplegic clients. Helping them to lead the most independent lives possible. I am a mother of four children and a nan to ten grandchildren.
For many years I just could not quite figure out what was wrong with this country and the world as a whole … this was not the dream of growing up that I was promised as a child and things just did not feel right.
I then joined Facebook and over the past year I joined the Save the Earth Facebook group. It did not take me long to figure out that a large amount of people felt the same way as me … posting all the problems in the world and highlighting what and who was behind this. Emlyn the Admin of the page then contacted me, offering what he felt could be a solution where all the like minded people could come together and start taking real action …
This solution is the Save the Earth Co-op. I have joined this because I felt as a single entity I could not make dents in this crooked system of things and by coming together we have a much stronger chance … one platform … one voice.
I am here to offer my time to help get this co-op up and running and I cannot think of a better way to spend my free time. My dream would be to build a better future for all and to be proud in the knowledge that I played a part in that.
Martin Giddings – Co-Founder & Advisor
Born in 1962 in South East London. At the age of 8 I compared humans, and earth, to maggots devouring an apple. However once I started researching for a book on the subject I realised all my preconceptions were wrong. Yes, if we continue as we are, humanity’s time on earth will be limited. However, if we work with this beautiful planet, in harmony with nature, then humans could manage an almost endless future on the blue planet.
In 1984 I worked on an organic farm, in central France, for a Dutch farmer (and his French wife), he was way ahead of his time. This opened my eyes to alternative ways of living.
From the early 1980’s I worked in hotels. Over a 25 year period, I had various managerial roles, a head of department, chef, head concierge, baggage master, bar work, purchasing officer, and carried out most roles in “Front of House”.
In 2005 I became a house husband, caring for my youngest daughter, and worked part time as an FA Qualified football (soccer) coach, teaching football to children.
In 2010 I started work as a Postman (as I just could not get enough hours coaching football), and in 2011, when I separated from the mother of my children, I was able to start research for my book.
When Emlyn approached me regarding the Save The earth Cooperative, I realised it is a way we can begin to wrestle back control of the destiny of the planet from the big corporations that are destroying the home of my children.
This is a fantastic way forward and we should ALL try to do our bit.
Marc Taylor – Co-Founder & Head of IT, Analysis and Web Security
My name is Marc and I am responsible for our data and related security.
My life so far has been a tale of northwards drift, having been born in the Midlands and currently living in Scotland. I first moved to Edinburgh to study Geology, a fabulous University, a great city and a huge amount of fun! After graduating, I moved further north and started my career as a custodian of geological data, cleaning up, migrating, analysing, building solutions – generally whatever was needed to make the data work for people rather than people working for the data – and unlocking the value therein. I have spent over twenty years in data / information management, and application support. I have built and managed businesses for employers, successfully guiding teams through the highs and lows of data service provision and project enablement. For clients, I have designed, built and delivered technical solutions, have advised on data strategy, and have prevented unintended data breaches.
I believe that people and technology can work hand in hand to help solve this World’s challenges, thus making humanity’s existence a better one – for now and for future generations. It was this interest which led to my being involved with the Save the Earth Cooperative, and an opportunity to support an organisation enacting positive changes. To quote Ghandi, “The time has come to be the change we wish to see”, and this is what the Save the Earth Coop is all about. We currently have an unparalleled opportunity to synthesise tradition with modern technology delivering a sustainable and healthy future for our planet and for future generations. “If we look after our planet, it will look after us” (to quote my youngest).
Outside of work I have a variety of interests including spending time with family and friends, movies, amateur dramatics, fire walking, photography, cycling and hiking.
Emlyn Mousley – Founder
I’m Emlyn Mousley – and as a family man and the original founder of this co-operative movement, I’ve had an interesting life so far!
In my younger years I trained and qualified as a coded welder, managed a PAPNET smear test sales team and trained as a numismatic portfolio specialist working in Hong Kong; later in life I developed properties for clients and moved into merchant banking and commodities, sitting on the boards of several companies in various key roles. I have been very lucky and travelled extensively through Asia, Europe and North America and, as a result, consider myself to be well versed in people skills with a well-balanced, honest and fair attitude to other people and to life as a whole.
During a difficult time in my life I asked myself a question, “What is life all about ..?” I became aware over the years that making money is not the be all and end all in life; yes we live in a capitalist society and we all have bills to pay. We work mostly for pennies in the grand scheme of things, 40-60 hours a week and for what ? What are we doing …? The answer = just paying off debts and keeping up with the Jones’s – the latest car, the latest flat screen, high definition TV, play-station number 28 … the list goes on..
In about 2011 all I wanted to do was to earn millions so that I could invest into my dream humanitarian project and I was forever chasing the big bucks. Even though the ultimate benefactors would be the people of this planet, it was completely the wrong approach. In order to make changes in this world you need masses of people – yes we can all change individually but sometimes it’s a hard and lonely road, especially with friends and family looking at you all strange for you coming up with these wonderful dream-like ideals. Being a driven and determined fella, I just pushed on. I realised that what we really needed was a people’s co-operative, with lots of people having the responsibility to make those changes really effective. Having heard all the time about peoples revolutions, well I got to planning a revolution that made sense – and after a couple of years of planning I was at the stage of actually feeling confident enough to start telling people about it. To my surprise some people loved it, they jumped right in ..
So here we are… myself and fellow founders have worked really hard in creating a fair and democratically-designed core structure with the Save The Earth Co-Operative at its centre and a not-for-profit Foundation to carry out our humanitarian initiatives. The core principle being that it’s all owned and run by the people, with one member, one vote.. bringing communities together. The people decide what direction we move and how we invest in communities and ethical projects as its run by the members for the benefit of the members. Ultimately, the whole world will benefit; ecosystems, oceans and the wildlife that share this green and blue ball with us. So come and join us, because together we can really do wonderful things. I want to be able to say to my children and grandchildren that I stood up and did something.. at the end of the day, we only have a short life, and we are caretakers of this earth, so surely our mission in life is to leave this world in a better state than when we found it ..
PS. If I can wear shorts and flip flops most days at work instead of suits… then that’s good as well..!!
Interests; Family, Scuba diving, the new sport of Stingball®, Cooking, British pubs, Nature, WWl, WWll & Roman History
Best Films, Last of the Mohicans, Matrix, Time Bandits, Avatar, Saving Private Ryan and not afraid to admit I like a bit of Love Actually & Bridget Jones
Hates; People who are late, Corporations and Government policies that pollute the planet, People in power who have access to a two-tier justice system, did I say people who are late?
Heroes; My Uncle Reg, People who show empathy and courage, Jacques Fresco, Nikola Tesla, Rosa Parks, just to mention a few.. a recent discovery thanks to a friend is Viktor Schauberger and his research in water vortexes , amazing man.