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Local economic change through community power building

How community power building can help deliver local economic change

Local authorities are recognising that communities should have greater influence and control over the plans, decisions, and public services that affect their lives. Some are already testing new approaches to putting power at the heart of their communities within their local economic change strategies. 

NEF has a strong track record of place-based work and a national team focussed on building the community power that is central to addressing inequality and poverty and building a new economy. Our expertise in community power building can create change that is rooted in people and relationships.

We have distilled this expertise and experience into workshops to support local authorities develop the core practices and skills that underpin a culture of community power building, and to deliver on their commitments for local economic change.

The workshops below can be tailored to your needs, or let us know if there is some other way we can help you with community power building. Contact us, in the first instance, at

NEF is offering two workshops to support councils to learn and embed an approach to growing community power:

Developing a shared understanding of community power building

Led by Dan Firth, NEF’s Director of Campaigns and Engagement, this 3-hour workshop focuses on five key leadership practices, as developed by Marshall Ganz, to strengthen a council’s ability to put power in the hands of its residents:

  • Public Narrative: People with agency know how to tell a story effectively: a story of who they are, a story of their community, and the change they want to make together.
  • Relationships: Understanding how to build effective public relationships – through listening and motivating – is critical to building trust in communities, widening participation and deepening involvement.
  • Structure: Communities need team structures so they can bring to life what they want to achieve. Whether that is running a community project or leading a housing group, knowing how to build an effective, motivated, and purposeful team is critical.
  • Strategy: Developing an understanding of effective strategy and tactics is critical for understanding how to use community power to achieve goals.
  • Action:  A critical component of community power building is enabling others to act. Bringing communities together, whether for public assemblies, participatory events or other public actions requires mobilising others to commit time, money, energy, and often, courage.

This participative workshop is for those planning and leading local economic change strategies as well as community engagement teams within local authorities. It is usually delivered online, for groups of up to six or seven, but can be delivered in person.

Participants will be in a better position to understand and share a framework and approach for community power building that will help shape local economic change.

The practice of community power building

A three-hour workshop to equip the delivery team with an overview of key community power building skills.  

For more information, and to discuss your needs, contact us.

New Economics Foundation

NEF aims to create a new economy that works for people and within environmental limits. We are guided by three missions:

A new social settlement
To ensure people are paid well, have more time off to spend with their families, and have access to the things we all need for a decent life.

A Green New Deal
A plan for government-led investment to reduce the carbon we emit and boost nature, while creating a new generation of jobs.

The democratic economy
To devolve state power and transform ownership of the economy to give everyone an equal stake in the places where we live and work.

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