Where to Start
When starting exploring changing your local economy, our experience has been that it is good to start where the community's passions have been demonstrated, either as a result of planned changes in the area which are popular or unpopular locally, or you can use tools which allow some of the passions for change within the community to be identified.
In identifying how to start action in your community ask yourself the following questions:
Where is the energy for change in the community?
Have any issues recently been debated as hot topics in the local news paper, or discussed locally?
Are there any changes currently happening or likely to happen that will affect the local economy? In the areas we have worked these local hot topics have included:
- Concerns of local businesses about the impact of variously: a planned by-pass, opening of a supermarket, and extension of a tramline; concerns from the community about the demolition of a local school; threatened closure of a post-office and local market, concerns about clone town high streets. Plugging the Leaks is a good starting place to identify actions.
- Local groups wanting to take positive action to reduce their impact on environment in response to climate change. Our Sustainable Neighbourhood page is a good starting place to identify actions.
Who are the groups who want to do something?
Are there active groups already in the area? If you get the response - there is nothing here we need money before we can start anything, then have a look at the 4 As (DOC 214kb) to start identifying what the community already has that it can draw upon in terms of assets and resources.
Also existing groups are a good place to start to get people to an event. We have found that word of mouth promotion of events using local networks is a successful way to get people along who may not normally turn up to these things.