Category Archives: 4theRegion

Reflections I

I’ve loved hosting two inspiring and generative conversations this week – a dinner with some of our local #4theRegion changemakers, and tonight’s Swansea Sustainable Travel roundtable. So grateful to all who came to share their expertise, passion and ideas.

We all want an integrated public/active transport network for the region – it’s an issue of health, economic and social inclusion, as well as an environmental one. It feels like there’s a shift in attitudes happening, with more of us wanting to leave the car at home more often, so the question is how we leverage what we have and develop what we need, to make that change happen. So much good work being done already, so much more to do.

Tonight was the first in a series of topical 4theRegion roundtable events that Zoe and I will be running across South West Wales over the coming months, focused on breaking down silos, tapping into the collective wisdom to find what works and co-creating action in our 6 impact areas. Do check out the events calendar on our website and see if you might join one or two… focus next is our Social Justice and Race Equality Conference #EveryoneMatters, with Race Council Cymru, on 9th October. Now more than ever, with BoJo giving license to all kinds of racism, not to mention the impact of a decade of austerity on life chances and community cohesion, we need to stand up for what we want and create space for the conversations that need to happen.

18 months into our 4theRegion journey, it feels like we’re clearer than ever about the role we need to play in connecting people, empowering changemakers, and shining a light on the good stuff. I’ve come to understand what Zoe’s known all along, which is that lots of little changes make big change possible… in the same way that lots of small conversations, day in day out, with all kinds of people all across the region, is how we’ll build the mass movement we need.

For me, and maybe for many of us, every day feels like walking a line between despair (at how screwed we all are) and hope, that there is still something we can do about it all. 4theRegion represents that hope for me, a tribe of people and organisations leading from the emerging future. Each of us on our own feels powerless. Working together, our potential is limitless.

So it’s great to be heading into August with a sense of progress and a clear mission for the coming months. In the meantime, school’s out, and I’m so ready for some time out with the kids, family visits, and 3 whole weeks in a cottage in Yorkshire…. (Putting the call out for book recommendations, what could I be reading this summer??)