Julian Dobson: Gather and share, gather and share

Eighth in our Best practices in Community Empowerment series.

Julian Dobson (@JulianDobson) is director at Urban Pollinators Ltd, and co-founder of Our Society. He is also author of Living with Rats, founding editor of New Start magazine, Fellow of the RSA, and a voluntary board member at the Centre for Local Economic Strategies. David Barrie of the British Council’s Creative Cities program said: “Behind the scenes of urban renewal in the UK, Julian is a major player, innovating social action, ideas around placemaking and bringing people together to make change in new, profitable, human ways.” Responding to my request that he share some of his favorite resources on “best practices” in community empowerment, Julian said “If I’d got my act together and responded earlier I’d say just what Kevin Harris has done – only he’s done it much better.” These are the sites he recommended for this series, and why:

Out of the Ordinary – A book by David Robinson, founder of Community Links in east London. It spells out his experience of and vision for relationship-based approaches to work with families, children and young people. The e-book is available as a free download. (You can read Julian’s review of this book here).

Incredible Edible Todmorden – A project rather than a resource, but its experience shows just what ordinary people can do to address environmental issues through the shared experience of growing and producing local food. The website gives a flavour of their vision, achievements and the reasons why they are attracting international interest.

Meanwhile Space – Another UK resource (sorry folks) but again highly relevant internationally, though the law is obviously applied differently in different countries. Meanwhile Space is a project that started with finding new uses for empty shops during the recession of 2008-9 and is continuing on a broader scale. It shows how local people can move in where retailers have failed and how temporary or ‘meanwhile’ projects (pop-up projects as they’re often known) can change the look and feel of an area and help prevent blight.

Any thoughts/stories on the practice of hoarding/sharing best practices?

Gather and share, gather and share.

Next up: Mathew Dryhurst of LikeMinded

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