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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...

Magnetic cities

During my third year at BUILD (Bilbao Urban Innovation and Leadership Dialogues), organised by the German Marshall Fund of the United States) we talked a lot about magnetic cities and what it takes to create one. In discussion with leaders from a range of...

The evolution of Big Local

Local Trust’s chief executive, Debbie Ladds, invited me to write an article that, on the closure of the Community Development Foundation (CDF) in March 2016, provides an insight into Local Trust’s beginnings and the relationship between the two organisations. Here’s...

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....