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Creating local leadership models for change

How organising local leadership can create and promote change

We’ve been supporting Plymouth and Brighton to be the first two pilot locations for our Cities of Learning programme.

Here’s some of the key things we’ve learned about how to work with locations, starting with how different groups can help to deliver change.

Anchor groups

An ‘Anchor Group’ is a team of people that can help shape a local vision and set of priorities, and they can be vital to the success of the project. This group is made up of key stakeholders who take responsibility for governance, raising funds and managing the location’s assets.

Working groups

A location-based approach also needs collaboration from the people involved. Establishing ‘Working Groups’ that bring together partners who can share their perspectives and expertise around priorities can also be key to the project’s success.

Learning providers, employers and other community organisations can also use their knowledge to respond to skills demands to create pathways of learning for locations. 

Connectors teams

Helping the partners and groups involved in the project to join up can be crucial to the project’s success. An individual or team can act as ‘Connectors’ in this role, to bring the groups together.

Creating cultures of change

Having the right structures in place isn’t always enough. Cities and locations must be clear about the culture that they’re encouraging in order to succeed in this new way of working.

The Cities of Learning approach recognises the importance of building a culture of a shared responsibility within a location. Also, change can only happen successfully if trusting relationships are built along the way – not just between organisations, but also individuals who don’t normally work together. 

Celebrating successes and storytelling can help foster a positive culture and build confidence in new ways of working. Human stories that share the successes of Cities of Learning’s vision and values can help build support for working in a different way.

The Cities of Learning competition

We want to support locations in creating local change. Our Cities of Learning Competition will help London boroughs to grow their most promising partnerships and create new ones, along with supporting arts learning for young people.

Find out more about how to enter the competition here.

Olivia Finn

Olivia Finn

Project Manager, Cities of Learning