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Case #895

: Creating Neighborhood Think Tanks for Economic Development


The New Economics Foundation is pioneering Neighbourhood Think Tanks with the Gorbals Initiative, a local development company in Glasgow.

"We all need to get away from the top-down approaches for generating good ideas on social and economic policy," says Perry Walker, the Foundation's Director of the Centre for Participation. "Too often think tanks in the UK work in isolation from the realities of people's lives. We want to create Neighbourhood Think Tanks in the hearts of communities that have never even heard of a think tank."


WHAT WORKED: (1) working informally in a "tough" urban area (2) developing appropriate programs for the citizens of those areas (3) creating the opportunity for a truly two-way exchange of ideas and best practice (4) market driven economic planning (5) availability of financial resources (6) respect

IMPORTANT POINTS: "To many, the Gorbals is still a `no go' area but the reality is remarkably different," says Stuart Callison, a Director of the Gorbals Initiative. "We have been working informally with the New Economics Foundation over the last two years and have successfully adopted some of their schemes like the Time Bank, Social Franchising and their Participation Game which is designed to encourage 16-21 year olds to take part in personal development and job preparation.

"We wanted to see what an area applying local economic principles would look like and the Foundation's commitment to economics with a human face sits well with our own focus. We welcome the opportunity for a truly two-way exchange of ideas and best practice."
Location: Scotland
Setting: Developed World, Urban
Extent of Action: Local
Year(s): 999
Outcome in progress
Source: Positive News, Summer 2002, p.9


New Economics Foundation Cinnamon House, 6-8 Cole Street, London, SEI 4YH, Tel: 020 7089 2856, Website: wwwneweconomics.org, Contact: The Gorbals Initiative, Adelphi Centre, 12 Commercial Road, Glasgow G5 OPQ, Scotland. Tel: 0141 429 6314 Fax: +44 0141 429 2649
Prepared By: sl, 1/09
Rating: 1
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