Clearing the decks now before I fly off on Monday to the inaugural showing of UK Regeneration at MIPIM, time for a bit of reflection. What is it we’re trying to achieve next week? What is the “big picture” here?
Well, we are clear that UKR must be a new sort of organisation, taking everyone’s ideas on board, and one that delivers quickly. The regeneration sector in the UK has been, and is still, in dire trouble and we need a radical new body which really serves its needs. But we must consolidate now before momentum is lost (and regeneration as a sector disappears altogether), so we won’t be seeking to get everything right before we get going. We will be looking to launch the UK Regeneration organisation at MIPIM on Tuesday evening on our Stand, followed by a Reception at Bar Le Must. I do hope you will be there. And then we will be holding our inaugural UK Conference in London on 24th March at Paddington.
First and foremost, we are seeking to foster a learning and knowledge culture. We need to “fix” regeneration in the UK, where we have accumulating anecdotal evidence of widespread alienation and disengagement among community and voluntary sector activists (alienation and disengagement that is so wrongly described by many professionals and policy advisors as “apathy”). There is over 20 years experience of what works and what doesn’t, and if we do not capture that now, then we risk spending another 20 years re-inventing the wheel. But as important as recognising what works, we need to prevail in the promotion of space for honest admission of failure and shortcomings, in pursuit of learning and development in regeneration.
UKR will re-energise the sector and truly share best practice. UKR will provide the safe and neutral space in which such activities can take place. We’re in a good place now, thanks to our loyal partners, PlaceLive and Reed MIDEM. And now we’ve heard that Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, will be visiting the UKR Stand (at R27.18, Riviera Room) on Tuesday morning at 10.45am. You are all invited. So… get ready for action next week.
Image: The fixed factor