Same Skies Network

  • 2015
  • 2016

Working for a hopeful, fair, prosperous and inclusive regional democracy in West Yorkshire and beyond.

I'm one of the original members of the Same Skies network in West Yorkshire, with other particpants living and working in Leeds and Bradford.

Our main activity so far has been organising the What Kind of Region open space conference in Manningham, Bradford in 2015, and co-authoring a blog post for the Oxford University politics blog making a distinction between regional democracy and devolution..

I originated the use of "regional democracy" as a contrast to "devolution" and first used it publicly in an article I wrote for The Big Issue in the North in February 2015.

It comes from the practical experience of hosting open conversations about the future of places in England's north.

If those conversations begin with the right question and are framed with the right language, then the conversation is a source of energy for activity and positive change.

If the conversation is about devolution it drains that energy away in minutes. Saying "regional democracy" keeps the space open.