Lankelly’s place-based work has been going on for more than five years…

What’s the purpose of this work?

We’re working to build robust, locally-led, diverse, ongoing, interconnected, open, collaborative, power-aware, non-exploitative, reflective, well-resourced processes for continual change.

We are doing this so that the underlying dynamics of the ‘way things are done’ in a place change to be more equitable, inclusive and just. 

What’s currently happening?

A Lankelly lead is deeply involved in each of the five places we are working in. There are large numbers (100s) of people connected to the work. Most (but not all) of these people would see themselves as part of a ‘place action inquiry’ about how to change local systems.

Structures and activities vary but there is always:

  • A core group of local people stewarding the work
  • A financial decision making function
  • An associate role – someone tasked with weaving or knitting the different elements together, providing coordinating capacity and ‘backbone’
  • A larger cross-silo, cross-hierarchy network of committed people
  • Work to understand the dynamics of the local system
  • Work to spread systems thinking ideas and practices (often via the Systems Changers programme)
  • Experimental action of different kinds
  • Work to resource the leadership of people with direct experience of marginalisation and oppression

There are connections and meeting points across the places, mainly supported by Lankelly but starting to be initiated by associates and others.

What are we learning?

Many things all the time! Right now, a priority is understanding the implications of devolving decision making over Lankelly funds to local people. We want to go further on this so we need to understand what’s happened as a result in Greater Manchester and Gateshead.

We’re also in the process of designing new infrastructure for learning support across the whole programme of work.

What next? 

We’re working on these areas:

  • More devolution of financial decision making to local areas
  • Encouraging collective ownership of the work overall with Lankelly more and more as a participant, not a lead – we’re edging our way out of the centre so that gradually the whole of the work becomes an interconnected collaborative change process.
  • Network weaving – we’re supporting the development of opportunities for the place network to connect with itself and to learn
  • Opening up what we are doing with better and clearer communications, greater transparency, clear documentation and guidance
  • Diversification – of who is involved, who has influence, access to resources, platforms and power
  • Ambition and radicalism – making the absolute most of the space our freedom and resources creates
  • Promoting our approach and the work of our partners – through funding, our own voice/influence and through communications

We share thoughts and reflections as we go on our medium blog.