When we created the first Local Vs Global (creating can do places and spaces ) and hit ‘publish’ on Eventbrite, little did we realise this first Enterprise Talk Oot would sell out in four days. Ok, we were not using some vast hall but taking up an A+DS kind offer of their workshop space in Edinburgh, but 30 bookings in four days is 30 bookings in four days. So we decided to organise another one – and those forty five spaces sold out too.
So what was the attraction, or attractions?
Was it the zeitgeist as some wag suggested? Actually, it does seem we had captured the mood of the moment. One reason for that is that the Can Do Places project is first and foremost about the most important element in any town centre regeneration (or as we say reinvention) project – people.
Can Do Places & Spaces was born out of a conversation about how we can breathe new life into our town centres and create a more enterprising Scotland. The starting point was that “our towns have become innovation free zones”.
This was followed up by a variety of other comments including, “if cheaper rates and easier parking are the solutions what was the problem in the first place?” Well, the answer to that question was that there was no one single problem or issue that could be addressed: there has been a major revolution in the way we earn a living and live our lives. What has not changed is that our surroundings are very important to us. And it is not just the local buildings that help define us – it is the culture and attitudes that we absorb from our locale.
Somehow along the way that “place thing” has got lost, and we wanted to bring it back to the fore. It’s not the hanging baskets and good pavements that make a place or town great – though they do help – it’s the people that live there. That’s where innovation comes from.
At the first Local Vs Global event we heard from our group in Peebles and their vision for turning the Standard Life Kingsmeadows estate, owned by giant Standard Life, into a hotbed of local enterprise and employment. At our second Local Vs Global event we heard from our group in Crieff. They outlined their ambition and vision and then the reality of putting that into effect. And that is probably why the two Local Vs Global events sold out. We had two magic ingredients – people telling stories and people showing their love of place.
Keep following their stories. We will be producing two separate postcards going into greater detail in the next few weeks.