SoCAN News

Spring 2024

Southampton Climate Action Network

The story so far

Spring is here, so we thought we would remind ourselves of the work we have done so far, and reflect on what we have achieved. Southampton Climate Action Network (SoCAN) came into being in 2021; a kind of organic grouping that emerged from COP26 activities. In 2023, we managed to secure some funding. 

Here is a list of the activities that we have been developing:

Set up a Steering Group for SoCAN

SoCAN brings together community groups and businesses across the city - see SoCAN Members - SoCAN: Southampton Climate Action Network ( Our Steering Group helps steer our direction.

This picture shows people talking around a table at an event. It was taken by Alice Louisa

Embedding community development and co-production principles into all our work

The intention of working together as equals has always been our goal, and we have been using various techniques over the year to make sure we keep our members interests at the heart of all we do.

A clear purpose

We spent time refining our purpose, which is this

Southampton Climate Action Network

(SoCAN) - Working together for a

sustainable, thriving city.


We are a coalition of community groups, organisations, businesses

and individuals that promotes Southampton's work towards

becoming an environmentally sustainable and regenerative city.


Created an identity

We created a logo and brand identity, commissioned an embroidered banner and published postcards to share with people at events etc.

A picture of a banner and flags made for SoCAN by Sue Badcrumble

Our website

We developed a website including an online version of the Southampton Sustainability Directory, so people can search for sustainability activity in the city. A number of volunteers contribute towards its content.

Our social media

We set up a Facebook page to communicate climate-themed news.

Involvement in events

We have supported and attended a range of events with a climate theme. We hosted a Spring Climate Gathering on 14 March 2024 attended by about 30 people. Everybody in the room was given the opportunuity to share the news of local climate-themed events and projects. Our members have been promoting SoCAN at a range of events, including most recently at Transition Southampton gatherings, People Planet Pint Southampton , RSA Southampton and Go Southampton events.

Action research

We have progressed an action research project, receiving grant funding from our partners, University of Southampton. We have participated in and drafted a research paper on movement building and Doughnut Economics

More funding, project management, volunteer and consultancy support

We have received kind and generous support from an anonymous donor, which has enabled us to recruit a project manager. Our project manager has worked alongside a dedicated team of people who have kindly donated their time for free. We have also gained the insight of local consultants, which has enabled a holistic assessment of activities.

Progressed ideas through workshops

We have hosted three large workshops - one for our Steering committee to progress our vision and aims, a Doughnut Economics workshop for community groups, and “From Surviving to Thriving” workshop on 1 March 2024 in partnership with Southampton City Council, Univerisity of Southampton, Centre for the South and Hampshire Chamber of Commerce.

Making a film

We have commissioned a film by Paul Maple on Doughnut Economics/Community Wealth Building. The first screening is on Monday 17 June 5-7.30pm at Sir James Matthews Building in Guildhall Square. Tickets are here: Local is the new global: film premiere Tickets, Mon, Jun 17, 2024 at 5:00 PM | Eventbrite

Membership and democracy

People can join the Steering Group, sign up to the website or attend our events. During the course of the year, it was decided that SoCAN would become a project of Southampton Collective, and anyone who agrees to a series of principles can join as a "Member" in order to have democratic voting rights.To see more information and join, please see the form on this page: Membership – Co-production | Community | Culture (

Part of Southampton Climate Commission

We have been offered roles on the Southampton Climate Commission for nominated members of SoCAN. We presentated a paper to the Commission on the Solent Cluster and hydrogen. This was adopted as a position statement by the Climate Commission: News | Southampton Climate Commission

Relationship with Southampton City Council

We are developing a relationship with Southampton City Council, e.g. by working together to deliver the “From Surviving to Thriving” workshop on 1 March 2024 with Cllr Sarah Bogle.

So, what next?

This is just the start. We look forward to developing SoCAN into the future. We are currently collecting feedback on the work of SoCAN so far, which will help inform our plans for the future. 

Want to get involved? You can contact us via our website form or come along to one of our future events.


November 2023

Reflections on a presentation to an arts organisation on 9th November 2023

I was invited to make a presentation to a local arts organisation, a space arts, about Doughnut Economics as part of a team enquiry they were doing on climate change.

I put together a series of slides from the DEAL toolkits on Doughnut Economics in order to talk to members of the team about climate change and their organisation - as part of an afternoon they had put aside for this purpose. They had previously watched Kate Raworth’s TedTalk on Doughnut Economics.

The slides started with a recap of what Doughnut Economics is founded on - the planetary boundaries and the social foundation - and how these are in overshoot. Next, to set the scene I introduced the four lenses obtained when the doughnut is rolled out. It’s a matrix of local aspirations and global responsibilities viewed through the ecological and social boundaries, which offer specific questions we can attempt to answer - as an individual, an organisation or a town or city.

To move from these lenses to a perspective on organisations and businesses and helping them find a way of doing a deep dive into their aspirations and responsibilities, I took some slides from the DEAL Doughnut Design for Business - Taster Tool: Doughnut Design for Business - Taster Tool | DEAL (

I began with a slide entitled: To change the future, change the dynamics, which provides an explanation of the move from degenerative to regenerative processes. 



To further explain this concept I used slides which bring in new ideas about the language we use: first of all the shift from degenerative to sustainable to regenerative.



Then we looked at the concept of divisive and distributive processes - how we can begin to move from inequality to sharing and valuing co-creation. 


The next slide explained further the move from divisive to inclusive to distributive.



Then I showed a slide which gives an example of a professional services company using an activity to generate ideas about how to become more regenerative and distributive. I also showed a slide which illustrates the deep design model that we (SoCAN) are using to look at the purpose, networks, governance, ownership and finance of the network.


Subsequent feedback from the team indicates that the rest of their workshop was influenced by the presentation: “We had a good follow-on session using some of the workshop questions taken from the DEAL website just to start practising thinking and speaking in that way.”

This exploration with another organisation prompted a new appreciation (for myself) of the importance of the language we are using. Sustainability and inclusion now appear as insufficient - “regenerative” and “distributive” encapsulate the vision of a better future for us and the planet. This reframing suggests questions we can ask within SoCAN. Should we rename our Sustainability Directory, for example? Should we amend our about-to-be-printed calling card? How do we discover what being inclusive and being distributive mean for the ways that we work? How do we summarise the work we have done on the deep design of SoCAN?

The promotion of the narrative of Doughnut Economics is one of our aims as a network and the work of sharing and understanding it with a wide audience is our challenge and our responsibility. The model may not be perfect but it is “good enough”.

Liz Batten, 10.11.2023


May 2023 

We are excited to announce that SoCAN has secured funding to work with researchers at the University of Southampton to develop the network and to run a series of evaluated workshops exploring Doughnut Economics.

Doughtnut Economics Image

Image: courtesy of DEAL - Doughnut Economics Action Lab

The proposed project has two research aims:

  1. Understand what “thriving” and “flourishing” looks like, within planetary boundaries, and how, together, we might help achieve that for the City of Southampton using the Doughnut Economics model as a starting point.

  2. Understand how a network for climate action in Southampton can develop and secure funding for more intensive interventions (for example including engaging membership, increasing voice, convening discussions, informing media, celebrating sustainability and future proofing the city).

The next stage of development of the SoCAN network will involve structured conversations with the membership and other interested parties about the future work of the network. This will facilitate bidding for and securing funding for paid staff and a more intensive level of intervention.

We will use the tools provided by community interest company Doughnut Economics Action Lab (DEAL) for the workshop design, which will be run within selected communities in the City. According to DEAL “The Doughnut approach is a way to think about how a place can meet its local aspirations while also living up to its global responsibilities.” We intend to assess this information through a series of data gathering sessions by interviewing participants and collecting artefacts from the process.

Through the workshops we aim to work towards a shared vision for the future of our city, with emphasis on community resilience and creative responses to the challenges we face from climate change. This process will also help identify those groups and organisations in Southampton which may want to partner with SoCAN to take the work forward and achieve the next level of development of the network.

Upcoming Events

We currently have no new events coming up.

Past Events

Spring Climate Gathering, Thurs 14 March 2024, October Books. Details here.

From Surviving to Thriving, Friday 1 March 2024, Central Hall. Booking details.


University of Southampton's Social Impact Lab Climate Action Workshop
Wednesday 17 May 2023, 2-4pm

We presented a workshop on Doughnut Economics as part of the University of Southampton's Social Impact Lab event 'Climate Action Workshop' on Wednesday 17 May 2023 2-4pm. Further information and booking. 

What alternative economic models are there for a better future?
Thursday 25 May, 7-9.30pm 
October Books 
With our current economic model we are continuing to see exploitation of workers and the planet and extraction of wealth to the rich. What are the alternative economic models to this? How can they work for the wellbeing of people and the planet. On the night we will hear of some of these models together with practical solutions and stories that can inspire us in making changes. We will hear from Dr Arvind Sivaramakrishnan who will outline some theories, Liz Batten (SoCAN)who will provide an introduction to Doughnut Economics, and Nathan Brown about the cooperative model of running businesses. This will be in a workshop format so we will have time to explore questions around this together. Further information and booking. 

Can Doughnut Economics help future-proof Southampton?
Saturday 8 July, 10-3pm 
Friends Meeting House, 1A Ordnance Road Southampton SO15 2AZ 

We live in an economy based on “take, make, use, lose” and that’s not good. Doughnut Economics shows us where the ecological boundaries are, and what we need in order to thrive. We can imagine a better future where we live in a safe and just space for people and the planet - and if we can imagine it, it can happen. This free participative workshop will give you an opportunity to understand how the model works and how we can use it to create a safe and just space for humanity and the planet. Join us in this workshop to explore this new way of looking at the future. No knowledge of economics needed! Booking essential via SoCAN's Eventbrite.   

Contact the Southampton Climate Action Network