The place we want Archives | Rethinking Poverty

The place we want

We believe we need to ‘go local’ if we want to eliminate poverty. There is an upsurge of people coming together to work out what sort of society they want and how to achieve it. Here we feature efforts to create ‘the place we want’, starting with Hull, Tyne & Wear, Blackpool and Oxford.

This small German town took back the power – and went fully renewable

By Bertie Russell

18 Mar 2020

The case for ambitious and transformative environmental policy is being made with increasing fervour and a series of “Green New Deals” – a reference to Roosevelt’s economic reform programme...

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Reducing inequality in Oxford: what progress is being made?

By Caroline Hartnell

28 Feb 2020

Almost a year ago, on 1 March 2019, I met with a group of people from Oxford – city council officials, an elected councillor and staff of social enterprise...

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Flatpack Democracy 2.0

By The Alternative UK

19 Feb 2020

We are very pleased to bring you news of Flatpack Democracy 2.0 (buy here). This is the compendious update to the original booklet from Peter Macfadyen, ex-mayor of the...

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A “local economic blueprint” for Totnes could inspire other places to maximise their renewable assets

By The Alternative UK

22 Jan 2020

Much inspiration to be had from Totnes over the years – birthplace of Transition Towns, for example. Like many, their council has declared a climate emergency – but unlike...

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The society we want: next steps for Rethinking Poverty

By Caroline Hartnell and Barry Knight

07 Jan 2020

There is widespread agreement across the political spectrum that capitalism is in crisis and we need a new way of doing things. ‘Read the Economist and the Financial Times,’ wrote Michael Jacobs... Read More

Tyne & Wear Citizens launches listening campaign

By Barry Knight

18 Dec 2019

In December 2018, Barry Knight attended Tyne & Wear Citizens AGM, describing it as the ‘most remarkable meeting he had ever attended’. A year later, he attended the 2019... Read More

Our ‘turn around’ towns are re-imagining the future

By Issy Petrie

11 Dec 2019

What will our towns be like in ten years’ time? And how about in 100 years? As we begin a decade that will bring significant change to the UK,... Read More

The #hullwewant goes to Russia

By Barry Knight, Maria Chertok, Natasha Kaminarskaya

10 Dec 2019

What does Hull, a city on the eastern seaboard of England, have in common with provincial cities in Russia?  Answer: not only have they been left behind by economic... Read More

A stitch in time saves nine: Learning from Blackpool

By Barry Knight

27 Nov 2019

Important lessons emerged from a one-day conference ‘Transforming Blackpool together: how evidence is changing our town’, held at the Blackpool Winter Gardens on 14 November. Frank Oberklaid, a paediatrician... Read More

Webinars explore 45° Change: Where bottom up meets top down

By Global Fund for Community Foundations

01 Nov 2019

The upcoming “Pathways to Power” Symposium aims to take discussions around #ShiftThePower to the next stage by developing strategies to make the idea a reality. One promising approach is... Read More

Does “The Wigan Deal” anticipate a more radical future?

23 Oct 2019

 “The Wigan Deal” beats austerity by putting unique human relationships at the core. Does it anticipate a more radical future too? This affecting, even moving video above comes... Read More

Shifting ownership to avoid climate catastrophe

26 Sep 2019

Johanna Bozuwa and Carla Skandier of Democracy Collaborative have contributed to Common Wealth’s series on the Green New Deal with their piece, Shifting Ownership for the Energy Transition in... Read More

45° Change shows the way

By Jon Edwards

25 Sep 2019

The core premise of Neal Lawson’s ‘45° Change’ is that the post-1945 welfare state approach to dealing with societal challenges has broken down. The neoliberal, market-driven system that has... Read More

How Community Wealth Building can help the Green New Deal

24 Sep 2019

Last month we announced the launch of Common Wealth’s Green New Deal project, a series of reports that will aim to serve as a ‘comprehensive road map for a... Read More

How ‘meanwhile use’ is opening doors in declining high streets

By Thomas Barrett

07 Aug 2019

We are all familiar with the gaps in high streets left as stores close. This article from New Start describes a pilot scheme called Open Doors, to be launched later this year,... Read More

Housing in 2040

By Sally Thomas

29 Jul 2019

Reflections from the 2019 annual conference of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) Our annual conference looked at the future of housing, focusing on our tenants, homes, communities... Read More

How CLES and Preston City Council ‘built community wealth in Preston’

24 Jul 2019

A new publication from the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) ‘tells the story of community wealth building (CWB) in Preston’, reflecting on eight years of collaboration. CLES set... Read More

Building communities for the Scotland we want

By Barry Knight

24 Jun 2019

What follows is the text of a speech given by Barry Knight at a conference of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) on 12 June 2019. The speech... Read More

‘Time to Build an Inclusive Economy’ in Northern Ireland

12 Jun 2019

A new charter, Time to Build an Inclusive Local Economy ‘sets out key steps to harness the power of communities to create resilient local economies’. Developed by Development Trusts... Read More

CLES reports on New Municipalism in London

09 May 2019

CLES last month released a new publication, New Municipalism in London, which highlights ‘the actions of three London Boroughs who are seeking to challenge traditional local economic development and... Read More

Is protest the new form of politics? Tyne & Wear Citizens offer a different model

By Barry Knight

08 May 2019

Barry Knight attends an assembly of Tyne & Wear Citizens to meet the candidates in the North of Tyne mayoral elections Something is stirring. A new populism is on... Read More

Communities in control: a local democracy laboratory

By Roy Payne

16 Apr 2019

The government’s new Working with Communities policy is important because it establishes the principle of ‘community consent’ to long-term planning decisions affecting the local community. This has the potential... Read More

Creating a shared vision to reduce inequality in Oxford

By Caroline Hartnell

28 Mar 2019

On 1 March I met with a group of people from Oxford – city council officials, an elected councillor and staff of social enterprise Aspire Oxford – to talk... Read More

The Blackpool We Want For Our Children

By Barry Knight

22 Mar 2019

What follows is the text of a speech given by Barry Knight at a one-day conference in Blackpool on 22 March 2019. The objective of the conference was to... Read More

Compass release new report on 45 Degree Change

21 Mar 2019

Compass has released a report, 45º Change: Transforming Society from Below and Above, authored by Neal Lawson and supported by Rethinking Poverty. It explains the theory of 45 Degree... Read More

Tyne & Wear Citizens hold first North of Tyne Mayoral Assembly

15 Mar 2019

On 2 May citizens across Northumberland, Newcastle and North Tyneside will elect a North of Tyne mayor. The creation of the North of Tyne Authority and the election of... Read More

RSA Inclusive Growth Commission sets out vision for a new economy

13 Mar 2019

On 6 March, the RSA Inclusive Growth Commission published their new report Inclusive growth in action: Snapshots of a new economy. In the face of a British economy that... Read More

Can a successful community be planned? The case of Derwenthorpe

By Steven Burkeman

12 Mar 2019

In 1901, Joseph Rowntree began creating what was to become the village of New Earswick, 2½ miles north of York. Today, New Earswick is a thriving mixed community of... Read More

About #thehullwewant

04 Mar 2019

Tear up the script, start with a blank page and change the narrative! These statements are drawn from a group of community development activists, practitioners and academics from across... Read More

About Tyne & Wear Citizens

04 Mar 2019

 Tyne & Wear Citizens is a chapter of Citizens UK, a broad-based community organising organisation that seeks to build the power of civil society to act for social... Read More

Why we need an inclusive economy not inclusive growth

By David Burch and Neil McInroy

20 Feb 2019

From time to time a new policy concept emerges, which seems to capture the mood and desire for a certain type of change. Today in economic development that phrase... Read More

Community wealth building – what is it all about?

By Caroline Hartnell

30 Jan 2019

What is community wealth building (CWB)? On the one hand, it seems like a new idea. The Labour Party established its CWB Unit less than a year ago, on... Read More

Supporting local initiatives: the state we need

By Caroline Hartnell and Barry Knight

23 Jan 2019

Here, we follow up the article by Neal Lawson and Caroline Hartnell on ‘45 Degree Change’ and examine initiatives identified by Aditya Chakrabortty in a series of articles called... Read More

How a derelict swimming pool became one of Birmingham’s most treasured community hubs

By Thomas Barrett

16 Jan 2019

Another great example of how an area can be transformed when the city council works closely with local residents at every stage of a regeneration project, led by ‘what... Read More

Tyne and Wear Citizens shows the way

By Barry Knight

12 Dec 2018

In all my years of working with voluntary organisations and community groups, I have never been to an AGM like it. The room is packed, the energy high, the... Read More

First phase of Kirklees wealth building complete

29 Nov 2018

Last week, we launched our series on ’45 Degree Change’ – the meeting point between the vertical state and horizontal emerging local initiatives. The work of local wealth building... Read More

A Northern Soul – a story of a striver with a happy ending

By Barry Knight and Caroline Hartnell

28 Nov 2018

Moved, humbled, inspired, sad, angry – these are some of our feelings after watching A Northern Soul, a film by Hull-born documentary-maker Sean McAllister, shown on BBC2 on Sunday 18... Read More

45 Degree Change: where bottom up meets top down

By Neal Lawson and Caroline Hartnell

21 Nov 2018

We want to change the world.  Of course that means ending poverty and stopping climate change. The problem is, though, we really don’t know how to do it.  Two... Read More

Real Estate Radio show meets #thehullwewant

By Gill Hughes and Sarah Hatfield

15 Nov 2018

We are Gill Hughes of the University of Hull’s Youth Work and Community Development team and Sarah Hatfield from Timebank. Together, we convene the #thehullwewant project. The project is... Read More

#ShiftThePower: how are we doing two years on?

By Jenny Hodgson

10 Oct 2018

Regular readers of the Rethinking Poverty blog and our Twitter followers may have noticed frequent mentions of #ShiftThePower and #TheHullWeWant – and may well have wondered what these have... Read More

Creating a new narrative for a good society – lessons from Letchworth

By Rethinking Poverty, Compass, TCPA, University of Hull, UCL

26 Sep 2018

What would a good society look like and how can we achieve it? As described in yesterday’s blog, a small group of people got together in Letchworth Garden City... Read More

What could planning contribute to achieving a good society – lessons from Letchworth

By Rethinking Poverty, Compass, TCPA, University of Hull, UCL

25 Sep 2018

‘Town and country must be married. And out of this joyous union will spring new hope, a new life, a new civilisation.’ Ebenezer Howard, Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to... Read More

A little less conversation a little more action please!

By Sara Bryson

21 Mar 2018

The persistence of poverty, it seems to me, continues because we fail to tackle a central crucial issue: power. We have centuries of writing, analysis and debate in relation... Read More