We enjoy working with you to uncover the key issues you're facing, whether that's about the future management of public parks, the best way to answer a tricky research question or how to organise your group. We are agnostic about different solutions and believe there are many ways of creating a future where land is used for common good.
As a social enterprise, any surplus we make is reinvested in our mission to reimagine the land system. We are building Shared Assets as a self-managing and mutually supportive organisation, where each team member has substantial autonomy. We are a 4-day week organisation and our baseline salary is above London Living Wage.
At Shared Assets Nicola has managed DEFRA’s New Entrant Support Scheme for Southeast-based farmers in partnership with the LWA, OrganicLea, The Ubele Initiative and Eves Hill Veg Co. She currently provides support to organisations seeking to save land-based community assets through the Community Ownership Fund. As well as her role at Shared Assets, Nicola also works on food systems change projects including those that focus on Food Sovereignty and Farm Succession. She has 10+ years’ experience of fundraising for and establishing community food growing spaces in Greater Manchester, and has been an urban farm trainee.
Previously, Nicola co-authored a book for Rethinking Economics about the need to diversify, decolonise, and democratise the teaching and practice of economics. Through this it became clear to her that what’s taught in this field and who teaches (or rather, what isn’t taught and who doesn’t teach it!) has far-reaching impacts on societies and our living world. Her recent studies at the Centre for Alternative Technology addressed sustainable and socially just food systems and built on her earlier PhD political economy research in Mexico and the US that critiqued the Global North-South transfer of crop biotechnology, particularly, crop patents.
I joined Shared Assets to support the research angle of the multilayer approach of the organisation. As the Research Coordinator, my aim is to contribute to deepening our knowledge on land and the relationship that we have with it, by working together with wider networks, groups and individuals interested in reimagining and making possible a new just system to live with the land. I endeavour to undertake participatory and transdisciplinary research actions building on the Shared Assets’ Movement Building and Consultancy relationships.
My long term passion and work on food sovereignty for just and harmonious food systems have found a niche in Shared Assets. Its focus on land justice as well as its desire to build healthy and creative working relationships in solidarity gives me hope to continue striving for a better world.
I realised how important land is to transform how we live, and for justice, when I was studying social movements. Since then, I’ve been learning about food sovereignty and anti-austerity movements through studies, land based initiatives, local and regional activism, and gatherings in the UK and Europe. I’ve worked on grassroots action, community development and network facilitation in my previous jobs and I get a lot of energy from being a part of collaborative projects, and from working with passionate people. I’m currently an organiser for the South East region with the Land Workers Alliance.
When I coordinated a participatory action research project using film, it made me realise there’s so much more to organising than collective action, and it got me interested in experimenting with different methodologies and tools for equitable participation, just organisational culture, network building, participatory democracy, and facilitating enabling processes. Shared Assets is a place where creative ideas and interconnectedness are encouraged, so I feel I’ve landed in the right place to keep learning with others!
At Shared Assets I focus on communications, and help to represent land as a social, economic and environmental justice issue. In my role I am focusing on the development and exploration of land narratives, and looking at how our messaging can be clear and accessible. I am also working within our Movement Building circle where I am grateful to support my work by learning from coordinators who have a shared purpose, as well as looking at how we are building and nurturing community within this movement for land justice.
I became interested in Shared Assets’ work through working on migration issues and border politics, and I am particularly interested in how I can center land justice in this work. While working with solidarity groups, I had the opportunity to learn a lot about organising and collective action and I am keen to continue to deepen this learning in my role within Shared Assets.
I am Shared Assets’ Consultancy Coordinator, supporting the development, management and delivery of consultancy and support projects with local authorities, developers and communities. I have worked across several parts of the land system for over a decade and am a specialist in project development, project management, enterprise support, fundraising and investment.
My 'extra-curricular' land story started through volunteering at a food-growing site in London – being inspired by the potential, culture and connectivity of food-growing spaces and the people involved in them. This led me to co-founding a community-supported agriculture initiative in my hometown, and subsequently becoming a non-exec Director of a veg box scheme which had access to several acres of land and associated land management responsibilities. My professional life has always involved understanding and improving structural aspects of the land system having work in food systems, community development of green spaces, woodland social enterprise, rural development, farming systems and land investment. I’ve seen that with land we can improve people’s welfare, reduce income inequalities and support each other’s health and wellbeing.
I specialise in facilitating complex partnerships and supporting people to work together to meet shared objectives. I lead on our consultancy, contributing particularly to supporting clients to develop new business and governance models, as well as supporting specific research projects. Internally, I lead on our finances, strategy and business development.
I founded Shared Assets in 2012 to respond to the need for new models of managing land for the common good in the face of public sector austerity, and to enable groups working on environmental issues to gain access to land to deliver their projects. 10 years of working on land issues directly, and 14 years as an itinerant boater, have brought home the extent to which land is a social and economic justice issue and that how we currently own and govern it lies at the heart of many of the issues we face, from homelessness to climate change. I am excited that we are increasingly working with others to deliver more systemic change through our movement building work.
I coordinate Shared Assets’ research work, strategy and thinking about how we measure our impact as an organisation embedded in the wider movement for land justice. I’m grateful to have the chance to work alongside communities, clients, activists and academics interested in reimagining our relationship with the land, to generate and share the information we need to build a land system based on the common good.
I came to Shared Assets in 2019, shortly after finishing a Masters in Agroecology and Food Security, doing a course in therapeutic permaculture, and getting involved in various community gardening initiatives. These showed me first-hand how important the sense of belonging, connection and contentment that can come from having your hands in the soil can be for mental wellbeing. I’d been passionate about food sovereignty for many years whilst working elsewhere in the NGO sector but hadn’t always realised how fundamental land is to that and other related struggles. I do now and I feel so excited that my work can contribute to this in some way.
We are building Shared Assets as a different kind of organisation, with aspirations to grow over the next few years. Find out more about working with us and check if we have any vacancies.
Lauren Burnhill is an experienced practitioner of inclusive, sustainable and responsible investment. Focused on the intersection of environmental and social development, Lauren advocates for long-term financing to unlock climate resilient economic growth for communities worldwide.
In addition to consulting and advisory work, and serving on the board of Shared Assets, she is a Non-Executive Director of Just Share South Africa, an organization that works toward responsible and inclusive investment.
Louise believes our systems, including how we use and understand land, need to fundamentally change. She works towards this through her work at Forum for the Future where she leads their inquiry work, including most recently Civil Society Futures.
She’s also part of a team fuelling a community led park – The Peckham Coal Line – in her local neighbourhood and a member of the pan European Citizens Lab network.
Kate is a creative social and community enterprise consultant with over 15 years’ experience helping local authorities and communities collaborate in stewardship of their environments and neighbourhoods.
After working as our Co-Director for 10 years, Kate is now working with us as a board member. She is also currently launching the Digital Commons Cooperative, a platform providing mapping and data tools to community organisations building a more regenerative world.
Simon is a chartered town planner who holds a Doctorate in planning law. He has over a decade of experience in both case and policy work relating to land use for agroecology, sustainable forestry and travelling people. He has also written a number of guides on these subjects in England, Wales and Scotland. He has provided expert evidence in the higher courts and has made a number of appearances at Local Plan inquiries.
We are always keen to talk about potential collaborations and projects. If you’re interested in hearing about future vacancies, please sign up to our newsletter, or check back here.