News &

Shared Assets turns 5 years old!

Kate Swade

We had a cracking party at the lovely Calthorpe Project to celebrate our 5th birthday recently. Our chair Lorraine Hart gave a great speech about why Shared Assets matters – we wanted to share it with you, along with some photos from the evening, and our brand new publication.

“I want to share with you why we think our work is needed, what we have achieved so far and our plan for the next five years.

Why Shared Assets is needed:

It’s based on what we think about blue, green and brown assets and their very special nature as finite resources, combined with what we know from the past five years’ experience:

The problems have not gone away: the issues associated with sharing the benefits of land use are old and hard to address. They include improving access to land, improved benefits from its use, and creating more opportunities to bring it into uses that meet collective needs. Obviously, what people think the problems are, depends on a whole range of things.

We know that approaches like nagging decision makers, or appealing to landowners to be more mindful of the externalities of their activities (on people and the planet) tend to go nowhere. Offering up successful models, and rigorous research and evidence is the only way to go

The people who want to do something about these issues start from very different places – some are confident and well informed, others are not, some are well networked into places of power and expertise, others are not.  Getting them together to collaborate and solve problems together is better than tool kits and promotes learning that is a lot faster.

Getting people together to collaborate and solve problems together is better than tool kits and promotes learning that is a lot faster

What we have achieved

Firstly, we are still in business! 5 years is a short time and the most perilous for a new venture.  The commitment of staff and board members is key to this – and it is not just a skills thing, it’s a values thing. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them, and in particular you – our fellow travellers – for your time and thoughts that add value to our work.

Look at the the map we’ve produced – all the reasons I have given about why Shared Assets is needed are covered there in what we have achieved – research, collaboration, access to information via new methods, bringing people together, developing and promoting new models and ways of doing things.  We have contributed in all these areas.

“Where we plan to go

It’s simple really – we will continue to work for change across all elements of the land system:

In policy with those who have that power

In ways of doing things to make things easier and more inclusive

In the way people think about land, and about how change can be achieved

Most importantly we will be doing this in practical ways as consultants, researchers, and co-operators with those who want to change the ways things are and those that don’t or are unsure how to do so.

I hope you have a good opportunity this evening to chat and share stories (as well as contact details!) and can be inspired by opportunities – as we are – to both think and do things that can help to achieve Common Good Land Use and fix the system we have now to make it have benefits for everyone

Thanks everyone – let’s have a good chin wag over a drink!”

And share stories and drinks everyone did. We had a brilliant time and are looking forward to future celebrations! You can check out a Storify with some more photos and videos of the event here, and if you’d like a hard copy of our exciting map towards common good land use, then get in touch!

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