Hello and welcome to Build Back Better, a new series of online conversations from 4theRegion. Co-founders of 4theRegion, Dawn Lyle and Zoe Antrobus will be hosting a series of conversations about the future of South West Wales, and the opportunity to build back better in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The last few months have really brought out the very best in the people, organisations and businesses of South West Wales. Ours is a region with more than its fair share of challenges, a post industrial region and an agricultural region, with high levels of health inequality and economic exclusion.
But the collective response to COVID-19 and the continuing lockdown has been inspiring, and has shown that the fabric of our communities, the fabric of society is still alive and kicking – we’ve witnessed the amazing resurgence of community spirit and care for each other during this time, and over the coming months and years that spirit is going to be more important than ever as we come through this crisis.
What we’re working to build, here at 4theRegion, is a grassroots alliance of people, communities, businesses and major organisations, working together to transform our region, in alignment with the seven wellbeing goals of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act – a vision for Wales that puts sustainable development at the heart of everything we do, and says, Yes we can have a prosperous economy, a low carbon economy, and a more equal society of cohesive communities, with opportunities for everyone to live fulfilling lives and achieve their full potential, with a flourishing Welsh language and a distinctive culture founded on our creativity and innovation, whilst also responding to the climate emergency, regenerating our environment, and building a circular economy that operates within the natural limits of our one precious planet. We can have it all, here in South West Wales, by working together with a shared sense of purpose and a shared vision of the flourishing future we want to create, for ourselves, our communities and businesses, and for future generations.
So over the next few months, we’re going to be bringing you a series of inspiring and hopefully changemaking conversations with some of the people, businesses and organisations who are Thinking Differently and Leading the Way, in the Transition to a Well-being Economy here in South West Wales.
We’re asking, how do we Build Back Better and resist a return to Business As Usual as we come out of lockdown and beyond. We’ve seen roads free of traffic, better air quality, more time to appreciate the wildlife that’s been flourishing all around us; We’ve seen a renewed appreciation for what we have on our door steps – the people and communities we’re part of, the amazing natural environments, and the businesses that strive to grow and create sustainable jobs in our region. More people are thinking about where their food comes from, and recognising the importance of buying more locally. And perhaps we’re seeing the absurdity and the obscenity of our wasteful and unsustainable modern lifestyles – the commuting, the shopping, the accumulation of Stuff, the rushing around without taking time to appreciate the simple joys of life, like family, access to nature and our own well-being.
At 4theRegion we know that the future of our region is in all our hands, and so we’re asking what can we do, and what do we need to do, together, to transform our region, to build on our strengths, and to transition to a post-carbon, sustainable, well-being economy.
We hope you’ll tune in each week to hear from the people, businesses and organisations who are determined to Be the Change they want to see in the world, right here in South West Wales. Whether you listen to the podcast while you’re out on your run, or whether you tune into YouTube in the evening for some positive discussion about the future of our region, Come with us as we crowdsource the wisdom from across our region and champion the changemakers who are building that flourishing future for us all. And if you share our vision of a flourishing future for South West Wales, we hope you’ll join us, and get involved, as we work together for the well-being of current and future generations.