Learning events

Place Matters is a partnership committed to accelerating the impact of place-based change through learning.  


About us

​Join our community of place-based change makers to take part in the programme of learning events, receive information about the knowledge and insight we create and share and to be part of a network of people committed to delivering community-led change.

We are a partnership of organisations who deliver and enable place-based change.  We have come together with a shared commitment to use our experience and knowhow to accelerating the practice and impact of change led by and with communities.

Our ambition is to build the practice of place-based working so all communities that experience inequality of opportunity caused by entrenched and complex issues can access the help they need to make change happen. 



Place Incubator

Launching place- based programmes

Communities of Practice

Peer-based learning programmes

Learning events

Workshops and webinars on key topics

The Incubator programme delivers intensive action based learning to multi-sector teams starting the process of delivering place-based change. 


It will support teams to plan their journey of change, building consensus around how they will tackle the change together and developing shared ways of working to enable effective collaboration. 

Communities of practice are peer individuals and groups going through a similar journey of change. 

They will share their journey to both inform and support each other, working with experienced learning partners to help embed learning to improve impact.  

We will also create communities of practitioners from people and organisations with specific roles and expertise e.g. funders, learning partners.

We will hold workshops with practitioners seeking to focus on specific aspects of practice, drawing on UK and international expertise and hold general webinars for practitioners to access. 


Please join our community to receive notifications of events.

See events below for scheduled events


Watch this space for news on our events and sign up to join our community to get emails  




Dame Julia Cleverdon



Lela Kogbara

Vice Chair


Jo Blundell

Co-Centre Lead


Emily Sun

Co-Centre Lead

Dame Julia Cleverdon DCVO, CBE is a passionate and practical campaigner who has gained an international reputation for ‘connecting the unconnected’, inspiring individuals and organisations to work together for the common good in the most challenged communities.
During her tenure as Chief Executive of Business in the Community from 1991 to 2007, Julia worked closely with the President HRH The Prince of Wales in building a movement of 850 member companies. Julia later served as Special Adviser to The Prince’s Charities and focused efforts on disadvantaged communities.
Julia co-founded Step Up To Serve (#iwill), a campaign which was set up to make meaningful social action a part of life for young people across the UK.  As Chair of Teach First from 2007 to 2014, and now Vice Patron, Julia has pioneered efforts to address educational disadvantage.

Lela Kogbara is an accountant and was a senior leader in the public sector for 25 years, 16 of which were in Islington where she was Assistant Chief Executive for the Council until 2016.  


Lela is current a Director of Black Thrive Global where she oversees research, communications, finance, operations and various programmes, including The National Lottery Community Fund Growing Great Ideas programme and employment programme funded by Impact on Urban Health. 

Jo has a background in UK public sector and in designing and delivering transformation through collaboration and through engagement with people with lived experience and citizens. 


She has an MA in Service Design from the Royal College of Art and is a Design Associate with the Design Council.  She is a Fellow of the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University and co-authored ‘Are we Rallying Together. Collaboration and public sector reform’ 

Emily has a background in working with organisations in the health, education and social sectors, that are interested in building cultures, leadership and teams where collaboration, learning and innovation can flourish.  


She specialises working with organisations that are focused on community centred, multi-stakeholder approaches to enabling places to regenerate and thrive. 

Beyond Collaboration

Webinar recording

How data shapes our understanding of racial justice

Webinar recording



Thanks for getting in touch!


“We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”


Albert Einstein



More than Infrastructure

Read the Place Matters 2021 report on how to enable place based working. 

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New Local make a compelling case for transferring power into the hands of our communities.

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Jennie Winhall and Charles Leadbetter provide some great tools for designing better systems

A challenging critique by ICS on involving communities in Levelling up

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A great article from our partners Tamarack on the role of Field Catalysts.  See the events page if you want to join a seminar.

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Wisdom from front line of the Participatory City project in Basildon and Thurrock.

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Tamarack Institute's extraordinary story about how they contributed to tackling poverty in Canada 

A masterclass in how to tell a story about a place

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Dartington Service Design Lab reflect on the integration of forms of evidence to create a better platform for learning

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Key reflections from one of UK's leading funders of place-based work on their learning

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Reflections from Power to Change on how to fund place-based change

Sport England have recently funded innovative place-based work through local delivery pilots and this is a really insightful reflection on the learning 

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