The Well-being Plan for Swansea is currently being consulted on and we have been tasked by Natural Resources Wales to run a “big conversation” around the plan as an alternative to traditional survey on the council website. The existing survey is largely about refinements to the Well-being Plan itself (can be found here: https://www.swansea.gov.uk/psb ) whereas the conversation we’re running is around Ideas for Actions to bring the Well-being Plan to life.
What are the tangible projects that need to be implemented to bring this fantastic vision statement, this ground breaking local manifesto, this plan for the Well-being for Future Generations in Swansea into reality for local people on the ground?
In an effort to do things differently and experiment with news ways of working, we organised a public event that was a blended approach of speakers, group discussion, digital rating and debating all in a relaxed atmosphere with a bar, ping pong, African tunes and delicious veggie curry.
It turned out to be a really enjoyable evening. So much food for thought and many inspiring ideas presented and discussed including coop housing, maker spaces, biochar, divestment, air pollution, homelessness, localisation, participatory budgeting, gamification and plenty more..
All the ideas presented were also being discussed and prioritised on the VocalEyes platform and the live priorities can be viewed here: Swansea Well-being Priorities
After 4 short, snappy and informal presentations, the room was then divided up in to 4 spaces where people could gather round in groups and discuss how these ideas might be grounded into reality and implemented in Swansea.
After these group sessions, instead of capturing the actions on large sheet of paper, people were then shown how to engage with the conversation digitally and log their own ideas, comments and actions directly onto the platform there an then.
Those that did not want to engage digitally, or who did not have a device, had the option to write down their ideas on post-it notes to be transcribed into the online group later on.
It was then time for a few more speakers, just 60 seconds each this time before we summarised the session and also put it into a global context by referring to the incredible work of Paul Hawkin and his book called Drawdown.
The main point being, that reducing carbon emissions is like reducing the speed you are going off a cliff, or driving down the wrong road more slowly. It’s not good enough and will eventually lead to catastrophe. We must endeavour to draw down, to suck out, to sequester carbon from the atmosphere and it’s our view that the list of priorities referred to in this book are the most important list for humanity at this time.
The next 2 hours was a great opportunity to relax, socialise, get to know new people, deepen relationships, gain a better understanding of the issues and hatch plans together.
The food was delicious, thanks to Govindas for that, very kewl African tunes spinning from vinyl on the decks and Volcano’s bar keeping us all well oiled.
Looking forward to the next one this Saturday. Who knows what we’ll learn, who we’ll meet.. perhaps we’ll see you there.