Dear Friends,

We hope this finds you in good health. It is a pleasure to share our latest newsletter with topics that we think will be of interest to you. 

The Resilience Brokers team are excited about working collaboratively towards fairer, healthier, more climate-resilient places and livelihoods and we love co-developing new opportunities with our friends and colleagues.

If you have comments, questions, suggestions or would like to collaborate with Resilience Brokers, get in touch with us

Key Cities – network of 25 UK cities

We highly recommend checking out ‘The future of urban centres: an agenda for post-pandemic inclusive city renewal’, a report released last week by Key Cities and Core Cities, which represents a total of 36 cities across the UK. Prepared by Metro Dynamics, the report was launched on 21st May at a very stimulating online event as part of MPIM. 

We are excited to be partnering with WPI Economics and Nexus Planning to author together a think-piece report to follow on from the ‘Future of urban centres’ report. The think piece, ‘A Futuristic reimagining of the urban economy and built environment’, will help Key Cities’ 23 member cities consider the practical policies and measures available across a range of important dimensions including health and wellbeing, sustainability and climate resilience, jobs and economies, inequality, housing, transport and planning. We will be reporting the findings for this work in the summer.

Pivot Week 2021 – Jamboree

The ripples from this amazingly diverse, inspiring and energetic events series are still picking up the pace. Many ‘Pivot Projecters’ are participating in the revolutionary ‘People Need People’ sessions being held from 25-29 May as part of the UN High-Level Dialogue processes (Zero Step Warm Data Project). We are also exploring how we can expand the amazingly positive impacts from the Sustainable Happiness initiatives from Dawson College in Montreal that link sustainable living to positive health and wellbeing. The River Teachers project is also expanding (rippling) through river systems and communities globally. It’s not too late to review any of the recorded sessions, or to visit the wonderful Pivot Art Gallery, we’d love to know what you think.

Introducing our new intern, Deliana Renou

We are pleased to welcome D​e​liana Renou​ as an intern this summer! Deliana completed her ​third year as a policy studies student at the University of Bristol as part of an exchange with SciencesPo Paris. Her academic coursework and interests include urban and social policy as well as public health and sustainability, with a concern for improving democratic decision making across scales, and she also brings strong experience including her work as a project developer with the citizenship-participation platform, AMSED, in her native Strasbourg. Deliana shall return to SciencesPo in September to start a MSc in European Studies with a concentration in health policy. The role with Resilience Brokers is supported by the University of Bristol’s SME Internship Scheme.

Alan Dean

Our great friend Alan Dean, who was a mentor and shining light to many, particularly young people, sadly passed away last month. We are all shocked and send our condolences to his family. Alan helped us in setting up Resilience Brokers and was always generous in lifting up others. His work with Burning2Learn nurtured countless young people to live to their fullest potential and we are determined to help in any way we can to ensure his inspiring work lives on.

Exeter Living Lab 

From January through to the end of March, Resilience Brokers supported Pivot Projects in piloting the first phase of the Exeter Living Lab. Exeter University and Exeter City Futures were interested in our approach to foster remote collaborative spaces and the opportunity to co-develop systems tools that support collective transformational change. The University also saw the benefits of this collaboration in supporting postgrad students in the Global Systems Institute department with their studies. Exeter as a region has a wide variety of groups and initiatives that support ideas of sustainability, resilience and wellbeing – for example, the excellent work by Exeter City Futures and their ‘Net Zero Exeter 2030 Plan’. The Living Lab has been successful in bringing together local stakeholders and creating a space where creativity, energy, direction and desires have been connected to address regional challenges.

During the lab’s first phase, we onboarded members into Pivot Projects’ digital workspace, trained members to use systems mapping tools such as Kumu, and the group co-created a visual systems map of Exeter Living Lab through collaborative workshops with city stakeholders and community members. 

Living Lab participants have demonstrated great enthusiasm in the project: weekly meetings and workshops are well attended and many activities, like the systems map, were completed outside of Zoom meetings. Several students are now using the systems tools as part of their research and have benefited from the wider collaboration, including from being connected to global experts relevant to their studies. One student saw a gap in Pivot Projects’ collaboration and proactively created a new discussion theme around Urban Psychology. 

Work we love…

…and recommend you check out!
In addition to Metro Dynamics’ report we mentioned above (which comes with an accessible online evidence base), we recommend you add Centric Labs’ excellent report, ‘Nature as Healthcare’ to your reading list. The report outlines the major role that nature can play in our health and wellbeing and argues against treating it as a service or commodity in our decision making.