Academics, policymakers and communities discuss effective partnership working

The University hosted a debate to further the evidence around place-based co-production and the role that universities can play in civic and political society. The conference, called "Re-Imagining Contested Communities: The Power of Collaborative Research" took place on May 9 in the Business School. It brought together social scientists, artists, community partners and policymakers from the Civil Service and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government who are very interested in the ways in which Manchester co-creates public services.

The morning opened with a keynote from notable US academic Professor Elizabeth Campbell from Marshall University before a series of workshops and panels explore various models of university-community partnership. Sessions from Professor Hannah Smithson and Dr.James Duggan focused on youth, Dr Geoff Bright looked at social haunting and Dr Mark Hammond discussed the age-friendly city work in architecture. There was a panel on place-based co-production featuring the University’s Dr Steve Millington, Dr Deborah Jump and Sam Gray as well as Maria O’Beirne from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and Paul McGarry from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

Proceedings culminated in the launch of an important new book focused on a series of co-production projects in Rotherham and funded through the AHRC’s Connected Communities strand. Authors and editors from the book talked about the lessons that they learned about collaborative research.

Re-imagining contested communities
Connecting Rotherham through research
Edited by Elizabeth Campbell, Kate Pahl, Elizabeth Pente and Zanib Rasool