Summit 2021: Programme

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A full line up of speakers and further details on the programme will be available soon.

Monday 15 November 2021

10am – 12pm: opening plenary – wicked problems, community wealth building solutions

The opening session of this year’s Summit will set the context for the week’s events and for community wealth building in 2021. Following an an update on the work of the Community Wealth Building Centre of Excellence, our keynote speaker, Tom Arthur MSP, will discuss his role as Scottish Minister for Public Finance, Planning and Community Wealth. Tom’s address will provide insight into both why and how the Scottish government are using community wealth building to tackle the country’s most pervasive problems and will followed by a panel debate where anchor sector leaders will explore the question of who is best placed to build community wealth building approaches that meaningfully impact on places, people and the planet.

2-3.15pm: breakouts – community wealth building solutions, learning from practice

Creating good jobs

Despite the claim that unemployment has now peaked, and reports of record vacancies in some sectors1.6 million people face uncertainty in the workplace as the furlough scheme comes to an end in the UK. Within this context, youth unemployment – in particular – is predicted to trail the wider UK recovery from Covid-19.  In this session we’ll explore how local anchor institutions such as NHS trusts can supplement interventions like Kickstart to create truly inclusive employment practices at the local level.

Public expenditure as a common good

Public sector spending is perhaps the best known tool in the community wealth building toolset. But the impact of that spending goes far beyond technical tinkering, social value clauses or “nice to haves”. Instead it can harbour a deep systemic change that rewires the local economy to place its ownership more firmly in the hands of communities. This session will explore how we move beyond a siloed approach to procurement and commissioning and into one which engages whole institutions in a shared mission to create radical and lasting change.

Rethinking land

Our relationship with land is the root cause of many of the UK’s most wicked problems. Yet, many communities are fighting to take back ownership of land and assets and productively use those spaces to build affordable homes, to house social businesses or to provide community facilities, including green and blue infrastructure. This session will explore the work done by recent land commissions in Scotland and the Liverpool City Region, discuss how the public sector and communities can become better stewards of our land and property and examine how we can re-think the domination of land and property commodification into an approach which provides us with thriving and affordable access to land for our people.

Tuesday 16 November

2-4pm: optional workshop – unlocking the financial levers for a local just transition 

In this session we will explore how we finance local just transitions to close the gap between aspiration and delivery. 

Participants will work together with experts on a range of tactics and approaches, from community municipal investments and untapped local finance to national funding streams, to create a plan of action to address a live scenario, relating to financing locally-owned climate-related initiatives that deliver social value for communities. 

Wednesday 17 November

2-4pm: optional workshop – owning the high street: can cultural and night time recovery serve communities? 

In this session we will explore how high street recovery plans centred on culture and the night time economy can be refined to ensure that the prosperity they generate reaches the people who need it most 

Participants will work together with experts on a range of tactics and approaches, from community asset transfer to creative and community improvement districts, to create a plan of action to address a live scenario, relating to addressing low occupancy in a town centre as part of Covid-19 recovery. 

Thursday 18 November

2-4pm: optional workshop – a bigger piece of the pie: developing the market for a locally-owned economic recovery 

In this session we will draw on experiences from the UK and US to explore practical strategies for displacing extractive businesses in favour of more locally-rooted and socially valuable organisations. 

Participants will work together with experts on a range of tactics and approaches, from public sector market shaping to co-operative development and union organising, to create a plan of action to reverse a live scenario, relating to sectors where significant public money is spent, but where the wealth created by that spending flows away from the people and places who create it.  

Friday 19 November

1-3pm: closing plenary – what can we do on Monday?

Following the presentation of papers detailing the learnings from the week’s workshops, our closing address will be provided by Kate Pickett, epidemiologist and political activist. Kate will reflect on the fundamental notion that underpins community wealth building: that reimagining of how local economies function is a vital tool in addressing inequalities. Following a short break, we will invite speakers from a range of sectors and from the audience to share their learning from the week and how they intend to put that insight into action. This question of “what can we do on Monday” to advance community wealth building will frame the closing remarks for the day and the Summit as a whole.

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