Exploring the ground-breaking work of economist Elinor Ostrom, the intellectual hero of community power. And asking what it could mean for the UK today.

21st October, 2020


Elinor Ostrom was a Nobel Prize-winning thinker and godmother of the community power movement. Here are three vital lessons her work has for the UK today.

21st October, 2020


The Government’s centralised response and lethal failures on Covid mean it's time to acknowledge that local communities have rights that should be enshrined in law.

15th October, 2020


The paper identifies five pillars that need to form the centre piece of any approach: economic resilience, public sector resilience, community resilience, environmental resilience and workforce resilience.

12th October, 2020


By bringing together existing evidence about the impact of community powered approaches – both in the UK and internationally – we set out a case for deeper change.

12th October, 2020


The decline of the high street was only sped up by Covid-19 – but could commununity ownership help reverse this trend? With inspiring examples from across the UK, Ailbhe McNabola argues that it could. Doom and gloom for the...

1st October, 2020


“We need to be creative, brave and try things that no government has ever done before.” This is how, in a recent tweet, chancellor Rishi Sunak proposed that he would protect jobs at risk from the COVID-19 crisis and...

1st October, 2020


The rise of Mutual Aid groups was a rare positive to come out of the pandemic, seeing thousands of people coming together to help their neighbours through hardship and isolation. But as we face a second wave – will...

1st October, 2020


A ‘marriage from hell’ between big state and big business birthed a litany of failures during Covid-19. Meanwhile, councils and communities have proved themselves far more equipped to cope. As a parliamentary debate on Covid-19 looms, Jessica Studdert argues...

25th September, 2020


From the perspective of international comparisons, Britain’s performance during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a chastening experience. Both in terms of economics and in terms of public health, we endured outcomes far worse than many other similar nations. In...

15th September, 2020


A new podcast series from the New York Times makes a simple observation – that the single most powerful force in American public schools are concerned white people. Over five episodes, ‘Nice White Parents’ argues that most of the...

3rd September, 2020


How we can 'shock proof' our systems for a more prepared and better future? 

17th August, 2020


This might not be your traditional summer for kicking back and relaxing with the latest page-turner, so why not try out something a bit more… powerful? Our NLGN team present their top fiction and non-fiction books on the subject...

7th August, 2020


A new Government White Paper envisages radical reform for planning. But, while it hints at a community-led approach, it also sets rules and targets to be imposed by national government. John Myers of the YIMBY Alliance sets out how...

6th August, 2020


This report offers a how-to guide for organisations interested in this process, illustrating a range of potential strategies to build active, networked and powerful communities.

29th July, 2020


Communities have the power to do extraordinary things. The evidence for this is all around us at the moment. However, for this potential to be unleashed, work needs to be done.

29th July, 2020


Many relationships between councils and communities were transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic. How do we sustain this into a post-pandemic future?

27th July, 2020


The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as producing huge hardship and challenges, was also a time that saw incredible innovation, resilience and compassion. NLGN's new report 'Shifting the Balance', aims to capture the best examples of this

26th July, 2020


Have a Listen: The public response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a source of much-needed hope. Thousands of spontaneous, voluntary Mutual Aid groups have emerged to support the most vulnerable people in our society. They are supplying food...

13th July, 2020


This report argues that the Mutual Aid phenomenon is a powerful demonstration what’s possible when communities come together.

13th July, 2020


We're talking to people leading change in local government about their work, their place, and the pandemic.

10th July, 2020



A growing number of councils are adopting new approaches to children's services which tap into the capacity and experiences of local people.

18th June, 2020


This report summarises findings from an event held with the New Local Government Network (NLGN) on the changing relationship between communities and public services during and beyond COVID-19.

9th June, 2020


In a new report, we explore how COVID is changing the relationship between public services and communities.

9th June, 2020


How can deliberative forums be used to engage and mobilise communities?

8th June, 2020


Throughout the pandemic central government has worked against the grain of local energy, but hope can be found in our communities and councils, writes Jessica Studdert. Councils’ confidence in the economy has fallen dramatically, according to the latest findings...

28th May, 2020


“Disasters shake things loose. And the things that we regarded as fixed and unchangeable can suddenly be changed” (Solnit, 2020) Rebecca Solnit has become the ‘go to’ writer for many of us, at the moment, as we anxiously seize...

12th May, 2020


04/5/20 – 08/5/20 Local authorities are indispensable in our current crisis and are therefore under enormous pressure. They manage the public services that people are increasingly reliant on, support the most vulnerable people in our communities, and hold information...

7th May, 2020


27/4/20 – 01/5/20 Local authorities are indispensable in our current crisis and are therefore under enormous pressure. They manage the public services that people are increasingly reliant on, support the most vulnerable people in our communities, and hold information...

1st May, 2020


Under pressure following criticism of his approach to testing for Covid-19, at the start of April Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced a new target: the government would be carrying out 100,000 tests a day by the end of April....

29th April, 2020


Adam Lent, Director of the New Local Government Network, says we urgently need a post-pandemic recovery strategy for the public as well as the private sector. While the UK struggles to get its head around a lockdown exit plan,...

27th April, 2020


20/4/20 – 24/4/20 Local authorities are indispensable in our current crisis and are therefore under enormous pressure. They manage the public services that people are increasingly reliant on, support the most vulnerable people in our communities, and hold information...

24th April, 2020


Today, there are more councils than ever who realise that they can’t do it alone. That their best work, and most robust decisions, come from working hand-in-hand with the communities they serve. This has been brought into the fore...

21st April, 2020


Who was Elinor Ostrom? What were her key arguments? How are they relevant to localism, public services, and politics in the UK? This presentation serves as an introduction to our online symposium on Elinor Ostrom. It provides an overview...

20th April, 2020


Local authorities are indispensable in our current crisis and are therefore under enormous pressure. They manage the public services that people are increasingly reliant on, support the most vulnerable people in our communities, and hold information that keeps local...

17th April, 2020


Local authorities are indispensable in our current crisis and are therefore under enormous pressure. They manage the public services that people are increasingly reliant on, support the most vulnerable people in our communities, and hold information that keeps local...

9th April, 2020


We draw out some of the most important ideas from Ostrom's long career and distil a set of new principles for the UK today.

7th April, 2020


Local authorities are indispensable in our current crisis and are therefore under enormous pressure. They manage the public services that people are increasingly reliant on, support the most vulnerable people in our communities, and hold information that keeps local...

3rd April, 2020


Local authorities are indispensable in our current crisis and are therefore under enormous pressure. They manage the public services that people are increasingly reliant on, support the most vulnerable people in our communities, and hold information that keeps local...

27th March, 2020


A deep global slowdown is a gift to the authoritarians. Adam Lent argues democrats need to unite around a vision of politically empowered communities to see them off. @adamjlent According to the OECD the world is heading for a...

24th March, 2020


Built in the 1930s, the Grade II-listed Bryne Avenue Baths had fallen into a state of disrepair when the council made plans to knock the building down. That was until a group of local residents started a four-year battle...

10th March, 2020


Women do the vast majority of unpaid care, and are often at the heart of community work. But can community empowerment help create a more egalitarian approach to paid and unpaid caring work – and to society in general?...

9th March, 2020


Simon Kaye explores the legacy of Elinor Ostrom, the first female Noble-prize-winning economist, who proved that communities can successfully take charge of the assets around them. It’s work that should provide intellectual inspiration and practical principles for people taking...

8th March, 2020


Kajal Odera ran campaigns for Youth Parliament, Crisis and Macmillan before joining Change.org – an online petition website with over 240 million users worldwide. She became the UK Executive Director in 2017. Kajal will be one of our ‘unleashed’...

6th March, 2020


In the run up to our Stronger Things community power event, we’re interviewing local activists who are leading by example. This week we meet Alison Haskins, who taught sewing in Lesotho before helping to revitalise a community in a...

27th February, 2020


As part of their partnership with our Stronger Things event, Tim Pitts from digital technology provider Agilisys explores the potential of technology, data and creative thinking for local government. Local authorities, as everyone knows, are struggling to both balance...

27th February, 2020


In July 2010, during his honeymoon period as Prime Minister, David Cameron unveiled what he called his “great passion” – the Big Society agenda. Built around principles of localism, volunteerism, transparency and devolution, the Big Society was supposed to...

26th February, 2020


Head of Communications Katy Oglethorpe responds to the Centre for Local Economic Strategies’ critique of the Community Paradigm , by arguing that communities – working in partnership with government – are our best hope for sustainable public services and...

24th February, 2020


In the run up to our Stronger Things community power event, we’re interviewing local activists who are leading by example. We start with Hannah Sloggett, who has revitalised an area of Plymouth through Nudge Community Builders, starting with a...

20th February, 2020