Power and leadership

Imagining Powerful Communities conference

On a snowy December morning we held a conference at Birmingham University. Participants made heroic efforts to get themselves to the event, digging cars out of the snow and braving icy roads and rail. We’re really grateful to everyone who came for their enthusiasm and thoughtful contributions.

This was an integral part of the Empowered Communities in the 2020s research which asks, What needs to happen so that communities have power and control over their lives in the future? The conference was attended by citizens, voluntary organisations, community groups, academics, researchers and commissioners.

It was a chance to test out some interactive workshop methodologies, share some initial findings, dive deeper into questions emerging from the research, and begin working towards a better future – to inform the final phase of the research fieldwork and the conclusions of the research. Three key points we want to pursue in the next phase include:

  • Inequalities: structural issues of housing, employment and transport need tackling together
  • Spaces: for people from different groups to meet and interact; and for entertainment
  • Transience: created by population change, housing and job insecurity as well as poverty.

Click here to find out more about the day.


Click to explore the Empowered Communities area of our website.