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Looking back, to look forwards

I have a confession to make. It was not until 2014, just before my second year at BUILD (Bilbao Urban Innovation and Leadership Dialogues), that I fully understood the role of its initiator, the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMFUS). I had been describing...

Maintaining bridges; keeping cities connected beyond the UK

I’ve long held that peer-to-peer learning can be more powerful than formal training and with deepening devolution, the Good City Economy UK road trip is a great idea. The next logical step is international ‘study’, given that cities collaborate with greater...

What is a community?

Communities Week 2017 provided a refreshing reminder of how local communities continue to take action on the issues that affect them, without apology or permission. It reminded me, too, of many national conversations I have been party to around how to support,...

Gun crime – a view from the UK

When Jo Cox MP met her untimely death, holding a constituency surgery on 16 June, I mused over the reaction to this tragedy in comparison to the mass shooting in Orlando’s Pulse nightclub four days earlier. Why had this single event, on a small island, provoked such...

BUILD Bilbao; what’s in a word?

At the Bilbao Urban Innovation and Leadership Dialogues (BUILD) in 2014, I discovered that ‘equity’ in communities wasn’t what I understood the word to mean. In the international context it meant equality and inclusion, rather than a financial investment instrument....