Financial Innovation Today: Towards Economic Resilience (FITTER)

The FITTER project will provide the UK’s first sociologically-informed analysis of alternative finance, with specific regard to economic resilience. The aim is to generate knowledge, and use this to facilitate an evidence-based and principled debate across the academic, business, civil society and public sectors. One longer term outcome could be a local economic resilience code of practice for alternative finance, and our research will aim to contribute suggestions as to what such a code might include.

The research process will involve interview with those in the alternative finance sector, to gain an understanding of the motives of alternative finance companies, especially their social, economic and ethical positions. We are interested in how they see the relationship between their activities and their social impact.

We will compare this with wider evidence on the alternative finance movement, in order to assess how far democratic finance models are successful in achieving their social, economic and ethical aims. We will synthesise this evidence with our existing work on community resilience in order to test the viability and desirability of these models for building local economic resilience.

The final research stage will be to draw out insights and examples of good practice from this synthesis, to evaluate the current impact of democratic finance models – and their potential for the future.

We will then disseminate our findings to a wide range of audiences. We will provide

  • an Intelligence Report in the Friends Provident Foundation series;
  • a stakeholder event to be held in Leeds on 22nd September 2016;
  • and academic papers in relevant journals.

Project website