21st Century Neighbourhood Economics in times of great transition.

“It could be that the neighbourhood, not the

individual, is the essential unit of social change. If

you’re trying to improve lives, maybe you have to

think about changing many elements of a single

neighborhood, in a systematic way, at a steady


– David Brooks


As we prepare to make the transition from Impact Hub Birmingham to CIVIC SQUARE, within a time where the scale and pace of change in the country and globally, we need to also move away from a business as usual model. This will require to design out the next business model strategically and with intention in order to make a bold transition into a new economy. All the while ensuring that we design as many local benefits into this model right from the initial conditions.


CIVIC SQUARE’s Neighbourhood Lab will work in a range of ways, from generating, uncovering and investing in hopes and dreams of residents and citizens for their neighbourhoods, to practically co design of the future spaces of CIVIC SQUARE. Through this we will collectively map and start planning regenerative neighbourhood economies alongside deeper dives into fundamental questions about the future of how our society works.


From creative and artistic approaches to technical and more nerdy work, the lab will work with all types of interests, skills and knowledge to think, design, and create future civic infrastructure for neighbourhoods. The launch this November of our neighbourhood lab is a chance to challenge and think about some key questions and fundamental principles underpinning civic work. This is a beta, and just the start.


In our rapidly changing world, beta-testing is the required norm.

The vision for CIVIC SQUARE is all about taking a bold approach to visioning, building and investing in civic infrastructure for neighbourhoods in the future to support this transition we are in. As we approach this challenge, one of the crucial questions we need to focus on is. How will we measure our impact? How do explore what is needed in this new economy and how do we define value? We should we be measuring, and what unintended consequences could those measurements lead to?

During Impact Hub Birmingham’s closing festival, we will be hosting two days of workshop to create a space where we can collectively explore these ongoing questions around what our impact could be in the future. What this means for our work, individually and collectively and what it will take to approach building this in our neighbourhoods and cities.

Working alongside Dark Matter Labs, Open Systems Lab and world class thinkers and doers such as Kate Raworth, Pam Warhurst and more, these workshops offer an opportunity to immerse yourself in some of the bold ideas, practice and thinking that are shifting the paradigms of civic work in the 21st century as well as experiment with ways you can apply this thinking to your work.


Join us for this 2-day deep dive into 21st Century Neighbourhood Economics:


Workshop 1: The Value of Civic Assets

Friday 1 November |  9am – 5pm | Find out more and book here

Workshop 2: Impact Metrics in an Uncertain Future

Monday 4 November | 9am – 4:30pm | Find out more and book here