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The power of the collective: Anchor collaboratives

(If you’re new to the idea of Anchor organisations, take a look at this blog for a quick introduction to the idea) I’m now back in the UK after seven brilliant weeks in North America, interviewing and meeting with over 40 organisations working on community wealth building, and the role of Anchor organisations in tackling inequalities and promoting opportunities in the towns, cities and regions they’re based in. One of the big areas of learning was about the power of collective action, and the benefits that can be achieved when… Read more The power of the collective: Anchor collaboratives

Theories of Change and Anchor Organisations

It’s been a few weeks since I last blogged about this research project, and in that time I’ve had some great meetings and interviews with Anchor organisations in San Francisco and Los Angeles, as well as some down time in between to reflect, and tinker with a theory of change which I’ve been trying to develop as a framework for this research. In fact, the theory of change has been the main reason for the delay of this blog. I have been going back and forth, adding and editing it,… Read more Theories of Change and Anchor Organisations

Three insights from week two: intentionality, innovation and leadership in Anchor organisations

(If you haven’t read previous blog posts on Anchors, you can check them out here. This one might not make much sense without those as background) This second week of the research has been a busy one, first in Boston and now in Cleveland – a city that many consider the leader in community wealth building. It’s been a hugely productive time, and in the moments in-between interviews and meetings I’ve been starting to draft a theory of change to help frame the research. I’m hoping to share the Theory… Read more Three insights from week two: intentionality, innovation and leadership in Anchor organisations

Anchor organisations and community wealth building: working out the ‘How’

I’ve just landed in Toronto for the first stage of my Churchill research, and a 5am jet lagged start to the day has given me some quiet time to reflect on the early conversations I’ve had with organisations in the UK about how this research could be most useful to them.   Many of the organisations I’ve met with have been inspired  by some of the leading advocates of Anchor organisations – such as Ted Howard – but are now grappling with the all-important question of how they put this… Read more Anchor organisations and community wealth building: working out the ‘How’

Lessons from abroad: community wealth building and ‘Anchor’ organisations

Where do you start when you’re presented with an opportunity to take a blank sheet of paper and design your dream research project – one that enables you to travel abroad and bring the learning back to the UK? Well, after an initial wave of day dreaming, head scratching and a long list of ideas that was slowly whittled down, I submitted an application to the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and then very firmly crossed my fingers and waited. Six months later and I am about to depart on said… Read more Lessons from abroad: community wealth building and ‘Anchor’ organisations

What I learnt from seven years working in a Think Tank

Last week I left my job at one of England’s biggest think tanks. When I applied for the job in 2009, I didn’t even know what a think tank was. I met someone while visiting a friend in hospital and thought, ‘that sounds alright’. Now, seven years on, as I move out of the think tank world, I’ve been mulling over exactly what it is that they do: what difference, if any, have I made over the last seven years? I’m so interested in this idea of what kind of… Read more What I learnt from seven years working in a Think Tank