Back in Place

A gathering of 30 thought leaders to discuss the future of place

Together we will consider what qualities we missed in our in our physical and digital places during the pandemic


A white paper identifying key ways to transform our experience of place, both physical and digital

Next Steps

We will review this white paper forged during the summer of hope in the winter of reality in a follow up event in Lancaster in Feb/March 2022


The first part of this work is now complete (see the White Paper ). The second part will take place in Spring 2022.

Select a Date

Thursday 16th September

  • 11:00am: Setting the Scene – Matt Jones, Richard Harper
  • 11:30: Keynote: Alan Penn: Reflecting on the role of ‘place’ in communities as we emerge from Covid.
  • 12:30: Working lunch and 3 Breakout sessions:
    • Topic: what exile from our habitual physical places has taught us about what matters (or what we’ve missed)
  • 1:30: Feedback: a characterisation of the things missed during the pandemic.
  • 2:00: Tea and Coffee
  • 2:30: Keynote: Bishop June Osborne: Place and the Spiritual during and as we emerge from Covid
  • 3:30: Close of working day (5 mins admin)
  • 4:00: Visit to the new Copr Bay area in Swansea to consider the intertwining of the physical and digital.
  • 6:45: Pre dinner: Keynote: Gutto Harri: How news-media and politicians have framed ‘place’ during and as we emerge from Covid
  • 7:30pm: Dinner at hotel

Friday 17th September

  • 9:00am: Day 2 Goals – Matt Jones, Richard Harper.
  • 9:15: Keynote: Yvonne Rodgers: The promise of the digital and the disappointments it affords
  • 10:15: Tea and Coffee
  • 10:30: Breakout session: Given the things we identified in Day 1, which ones should we focus on and how - in the short term, in the longer term, through public awareness, through regulation
  • 11:30:Feedback
  • 12:30: Working Lunch
  • 1:15: Keynote: Charles Clarke: Urban renewal after covid
  • 2:15: Tea and Coffee
  • 2:30: Open Reflection in smaller groups
  • 3:15: Feedback
  • 3:45: Summary and next steps: creating a White Paper and the the event in Feb 2022.

Why Swansea and Morecambe bay?

This is the first of two events, the second will be held in March 2022 in Morecombe Bay. Both places are being transformed – Swansea through the City Deal, Council investment and the activities of the Universities; in Morecombe Bay the aspirations for change are exemplified by the Eden North Project”