Birmingham and the surrounding area has been both the focus of network activity and a stimulus to exploring development concepts.  The idea that things that happen in our locality have a role in understanding ‘development’ and ‘the global’ has been important to the network from the outset.  See for example The world in Birmingham [LINK]

One of the best places to encounter the complexity of development issues is our own place.  Local work can, for example, be used as a starting point or away of building enquiry skills that can then be applied to a case study elsewhere.  

Glocal?  The word glocal, first used by educators in Japan, captures the basics … that to understand things globally we need to engage with what they mean in our own local part of the world;   … and that most “global” case studies focus on the “local” in different parts of the world.  

Do we in Britain still have a tendency to talk about the “global” as if it is some other place … as if we are not part of it?  Cartoon

Half the lies are True took this idea one stage further by asking what could we learn from looking at Britain and Ireland as our local international relationship … a microcosm of international misunderstanding!  The introductory pages offer a useful overview of “Going Local” [LINK]

A city for people: Birmingham - change and development [LINK]  offered a comprehensive range of case studies linked to the key stage 3 Geography curriculum.  The diagram illustrates the scope:




The Water for a city [LINK] leaflet explored the idea that water was key to the health and development of Birmingham.  Introducing a new supply was far sighted but it also raised considerable development dilemmas.

Cities, people and change [LINK] built on this work exploring the commonality of city issues all over the world ... such as Sustainability, Community Cohesion, Climate Change and Economic Wellbeing.  The poster below [LINK] was used to capture the key elements at a conference in Edinburgh.  

The Development Compass Rose [LINK] can, like the compass, be used in any location including our own.  It came to symbolise the value of exploring commonality as the basis for better understanding difference.  It can be used as a tool to raise questions about the natural, economic and social dimensions of a situation, to make connections between them and to ask the key question: Who decides?

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