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Stroud Imagines

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Stroud Civic Imagination Centre Vision

This working document is intended as a starting point for the development of Stroud Civic Imagination Centre (Stroud Imagines).

Background:

Rob Hopkins gave an inspirational talk at the Stroud Book Festival in November 2019 about his book ‘From What Is To What If’.  The world has changed beyond all recognition since that time and yet the principles he put forward at that time are even more required now.

He explores: What If We Took Play Seriously; What if We Followed Natures Lead; What If We Became Better Story Tellers; What If School Nurtured Young Imaginations.

There is an emphasis on our imagination and how it can be used to create change in the real world.  Before the coronavirus roads had been closed to traffic so children could play; some car parks are now food gardens; neighbourhood assemblies met; supermarkets replaced air freighted goods with local alternatives; public spaces have been adapted to grow edible plants and fruit – and so it continues to unfold. What if we could co-create a more positive future together?

Here is an article that explores a Civic Imagination Centre in Bologna: https://www.resilience.org/stories/2019-03-07/bologna-the-city-with-a-civic-imagination-office/

There has been an unprecedented level of change across the world with Covid19. We have demonstrated that we can make radical changes very quickly to our behaviour collectively and individually. We need to seize this moment by creating imaginative ways of living harmoniously in our communities from this point forward.

Stroud Civic Imagination Centre Vision (Stroud Imagines)

To inspire imagination and creative approaches towards a positive future, by being a catalyst for new projects that a diverse range of local people will identify, develop and implement within their community, in line with the UN Declaration of Human Rights, Bejing Platform For Action, CEDAW, Agenda 2030, enabling us to be a part of UK SSD.

Outcomes – the difference we want to make with Stroud Imagines

  • People to use their imagination as a go-to tool for expanding their perception of what is possible in their community
  • People imagine sustainable ways to improve their lives together, including and not limited to health, education, income and work, peace and justice, political voice, social equality, gender equality, housing, networks, energy, water and food (based on the Donut Economy, Raworth), along with accessibility and mobility
  • A diverse range of people engage with their imagination to benefit their local community and take actions to bring their ideas to life
  • Community wellbeing that ensures wellbeing for all is prioritised
  • The intention is to increase prosperity for all
  • People are committed to a unity of vision, including beauty and usefulness for everyone (see diversity checklist to ensure different needs are taken into account)

Values

Stroud Imagines is committed to the following values being integral to the project:

  • Diversity and inclusion being noticed, respected, proactively addressed and celebrated
  • Embrace and drive change
  • Create fun and a little weirdness
  • Be adventurous, creative, and open-minded
  • Pursue growth and learning
  • Not for us without involving us
  • Build relationships by listening first
  • Build a positive team and family spirit
  • Do more with less, recycling and upcycling where possible
  • Every positive action is celebrated
  • All projects are important regardless of size, scale or scope
  • Be passionate and determined
  • Be humble
  • Proactively seek the voice of young people
  • Always striving to learn

Physical space

Stroud Imagines aims to have a central physical space within Stroud, where workshops can be run and individuals can meet to explore imaginative solutions together. It would be available at different times of the day so that people can explore their imagination at moments that inspire them. It doesn’t have to be limited to just one space. This could be a pop-up version designed by artists.

Online space

There is an online space where people can share ideas, resources and plan projects together. Regular zoom meetings are held to discuss the development of this vision and different projects that could be developed.

Proactive outreach

Stroud Imagines would like to do pop up events and workshops in different communities, inspiring grassroots change at a street level, having identified gaps in provision and in local community action.

Civic engagement

Stroud Imagines would be able to play a role in community democracy, encouraging people to speak out about changes that impact on their lives, take control of local community assets and take an active role in their local community.

Stakeholder engagement

Stroud Imagines would like to bring together different stakeholders who have an interest in a particular geographic or topic area, to work together for the benefit of that area. This could include and is not limited to: local government, GPs, schools, police, fire service, health, SME’s, voluntary and community groups and local residents, national organisations.

Community asset audits and development

Stroud Imagines could support communities to explore the assets they have access to, look for gaps and support communities to develop according to their needs.

What else?

What would you like to see as priorities for the Stroud Imagines?

Please get in touch with your ideas on the Stroud Imagines Network: https://the-civic-imagination-centre.mn.co/about

Here is the link to the Stroud topic: https://the-civic-imagination-centre.mn.co/topics/1727359