4theRegion Members Conversation

4theRegion Members Conversation

4theRegion Members Conversation

Thursday 19TH March 2020

4theRegion held an engaging online conversation exploring how we can enhance community resilience and how current events will impact our future. 

Event report

On Thursday 19th March, 4theRegion hosted an online conversation on Zoom for members across South West Wales, providing them with a platform to discuss how their businesses and communities are adapting according to current events.  This event report aims to capture key themes that arose during this meeting.

We are finding ourselves in uncertain times and there is no doubt that businesses across the region are going to need to adapt and innovate to survive. This conversation focused on empowering people, crowd-sourcing wisdom and actionable ideas and exploring ways we can develop stronger community networks. 

Appreciated enquiry was a key theme through this discussion, focusing on asking positive questions in order to focus on our strengths. When we focus on our strengths, we are more empowered than if we were to dwell on fear. What would we like to see emerging from the current situation? Where do we see opportunities, causes for hope and approaches to future action?  


  • We need to keep calm and support one another. We should continue to support each other, remain positive, happy and allow leadership to shine through, especially during uncertain times.
  • There’s a natural inclination to return to our personal experiences to guide us. There is an importance to retain perseverance and determination. Reflection helps to identify resolutions.
  • We need to remember our purpose, why we are here and who we are here for. We all have our struggles and whether it’s personal or business we need to be there for one another.
  • Those with leadership responsibilities need to allow for time and space to reflect.  Well-being is vital and it’s important to avoid becoming sucked into the mentality of “we have to solve everything”. Let’s be curious about what will emerge and trust the process.
  • An acceptance of the current situation becoming a new way of life. Maintaining effective communication and relationships are vital. There is an importance of nourishing ourselves through networks and drawing on the wisdom and experience of others.

Future Hopes

  • We have the opportunity to become more environmentally sustainable. The environment is experiencing a positive impact through less travel.
  • Stronger community ethos to continue. Communities are rapidly mobilising and breaking down barriers, ensuring the well-being of our peers is seen to. We want to see a world where we’re living in a fairier, happier and more localised world, where scarce resources see more efficient use.
  • Embracing of IT and the digital age. More organisations are being forced to learn more about trading and working online. Increased confidence in our own abilities and more efficiency and purpose around what we do.
  • Finding solutions for those who are experiencing loss of income. We want a shift in priorities for funding and resources. We want to see communities transformed by grassroots.
  • We may become more comfortable with uncertainty. We have a shifting paradigm and have been mobilised by fear. Leaders in our communities are stepping up and replacing fear with love.



Despite the uncertain times, conversations like these showcase the resilience and positive mindset that remains in our community networks. Technology has allowed us to mobilise support groups for those in need across the region as well as allowing many businesses to adapt and continue operating. The success of this conversation allows for continued discussion regarding future plans and ambitions, whether it be personally or virtually. 

If you would like to be a part of future conversations, please contact dawn@4theregion.com and zoe@4theregion.com or follow us on our Eventbrite page.



Event Report – Community Rail Partnership

Event Report – Community Rail Partnership

South West Wales Community Rail Partnership Event

Friday 24TH January 2020

Swansea Train Station

On Friday 24th January, 4theRegion held a launch event for the community rail partnership. This is our write up of the event, intended to capture the key discussion points and themes.

Event report

In partnership with Transport for Wales (Rail), 4theRegion is now host to a new Community Rail Partnership for South West Wales, covering the four counties of Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. 

Held at the Grand Hotel opposite Swansea Train Station, the Community Rail Partnership launch event brought together people and organisations from across the region, to discuss the potential to make change happen for the region, by working together under the banner of the new CRP.

The Community Rail Partnership seeks to connect a team of organisations, businesses and individuals who want to see the region flourish in alignment with the 7 well-being goals outlined in the Well-being of Future Generations Act. By maximising the beneficial impact of the rail networks and existing services, we can aim to generate more footfall, spending and activity within the heart of communities across the South West Wales region. 

The new CRP will aim to engage with communities, businesses and organisations along the South West Wales rail network in order to champion all of the unique identities of each location, create a shared sense of place and facilitate collaboration towards achieving greater social, environmental and economic value in the region.

emerging themes

  • The creation of a South West Wales Community Rail Partnership a benefit to local communities – The CRP can be utilised as a voice to improve transportation in the region, providing a beneficial effect on local economy.
  • Cycling, leisure and transport – Better joined up working between different modes of transport. Opportunities for better cycle storage on Transport for Wales. Promotion of accessible information regarding cycle routes to encourage leisure and tourism in the region.  
  • Local economical and environmental benefits – Using sustainable transport to reduce the carbon footprint of individuals in the region. How would we encourage commuters to leave their car and use the rail network?
  • Disused spaces along rail networks could be used as hubs for business and social enterprise. Transport for Wales want to see train stations developed into hubs for business and community use.  Vacant station buildings could be adopted and repurposed.  Train stations could play a bigger role in local communities, bringing people together, addressing social exclusion and community cohesion.
  • Inter-connectivity and identity – Aim to bridge the four regions of South West Wales. Celebrating the unique identities of local destinations would benefit a wide range of businesses and individuals.


  • Timetables don’t always align to local events – Improved travel synchronisation with major events such as sport and festivals could be beneficial to the regional economy.
  • Community transport connectivity – Public transport services require improved connectivity and delivery of travel information in order to encourage commuting via public transport.
  • Accessibility – Promotion of South West Wales as a region. People may not be aware of what’s on their doorstep due to lack of communication and distribution of information.
  • Transport, travel and the environment – Key challenges in a world needed to reduce carbon emissions whilst promoting access to the natural environment. How can we encourage people to consider public transport as the first option?
  • Frustrations over limited / unreliable services.  While the CRP can build a business case for continued investment in more trains and services, the purpose of the new CRP for South West Wales is not just to talk about the trains, but to leverage the benefit of the services we already have, to connect the regional offer and encourage more joint working.



During this first conversation about the new Community Rail Partnership, we heard from diverse organisations and individuals, about their priorities and ideas.  4theRegion has subsequently drafted a document outlining the purpose of the new CRP, its proposed structure, and a job description for the new Community Rail Officer.  These documents are will be published during March 2020, but you can review the drafts at the following link.  Please get in touch with your thoughts and with any questions!

Community Rail Partnership for South West Wales – Mission & Structure

All questions and comments should be directed to dawn@4theregion.com and zoe@4theregion.com 


Empowering Future Generations Conference, Swansea, June 2018

Empowering Future Generations Conference, Swansea, June 2018

South West Wales biggest sustainability conference took place on 14th June 2018, exploring the challenges & opportunities of Implementing the principles of the Circular Economy in line with The Well-being of Future Generations Act (Wales) 2015.  With a host of great speakers, lots of regional businesses and representatives from all sectors, Empowering Future Generations was an inspiring event and the start of the journey to transform the well-being of South West Wales.

Keynote Speakers

The opening address was given by Dr. Jane Davidson, Pro Vice-Chancellor for External Engagement and Sustainability at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.  Jane has won a number of UK awards for her work. From 2007 – 2011, Jane was Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing in Wales where she proposed legislation to make sustainable development its central organising principle – the Well-being of Future Generations Act came into law in April 2015.



Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, closed the event at the end of the day.  Sophie was appointed as the first Future Generations Commissioner for Wales in February 2016. Her role is to act as a guardian for the interests of future generations in Wales, and to support the public bodies listed in the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 to work towards achieving the well-being goals.


Leader of Swansea Council, Cllr. Rob Stewart provided an update about Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, to an audience of business people unanimous in their support for the project.  There was a lot of anticipation in the air about an imminent announcement about this important regional project.  A couple of weeks following the event, the announcement came from Westminster that the UK Government would not be supporting the project.



Photo Gallery

Event Summary


Empowering Future Generations was the region’s first major circular economy conference, held on 14th June, and brought a diverse mix of around 250 participants together at the Liberty Stadium.  The day was a cross-sector opportunity to explore how this region might rise to the challenge of the Well-being of Future Generations Act, which requires organisations to embrace the principles of long term thinking, collaboration, prevention, integration and involvement, in pursuit of the 7 well-being goals.  The move towards a circular economy and “zero waste” is a key component of this – changing the way businesses and people think in order to redesign, reuse, recycle and remanufacture, as opposed to the linear make-use-dispose model that we currently operate on. But it’s also about the move towards a “well-being economy”, where we prize more highly the well-being of the planet, ourselves and our communities, than purely economic growth at any cost.

With 20 expert speakers from across industry, all excited about Wales potential to lead the way in this area, it was a jam-packed agenda which was kept on track by expert chairing from Dr Jane Davidson of University of Wales Trinity Saint David.  The Well-being of Future Generations Act is undoubtedly a catalyst for culture change, for transforming our economy and developing differently to the rest of the UK and the rest of the world. But some key barriers were also identified, not least procurement.  Only when public bodies truly embed well-being principles into the way they evaluate and select their suppliers, will businesses be empowered to change.

And at the other extreme, it’s about personal choices and individual behaviour, and our speakers challenged us all to reflect on this.  Do we pick up a single use non-recyclable coffee cup, or a china one? Do we put in the extra effort it takes to find a sustainable mode of travel, or do we jump in our cars?  Do we hand back our plastic waste at the supermarket checkouts, or do we continue to tolerate obscene levels of plastic and non-recyclable packaging across the retail sector? Going further, do we empower ourselves as leaders when we go to work, to make change happen in our workplaces and businesses?  Often, change happens as the result of one passionate and determined individual refusing to accept the status quo, deciding to combine their personal convictions and their professional influence as a force for good.

It was an inspiring day, with numerous examples of businesses and organisations who are pioneering new ways of working and making change happen.  What made our event distinctive was undoubtedly the healthy mix of public and private sector participants, and the involvement of third sector organisations and social enterprises, brought together in a spirit of co-creation.  With council leaders, officers and local councillors from across the region, as well as large businesses and small companies from all sectors, policy makers from Welsh government, experts, novices, advocates and cynics all taking part – not just in the conference but in the collaborative afternoon workshops – it was a very thought-provoking day, rounded off by a call to action from Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales.

But it’s only the start of the conversation.  For many of us, the Empowering Future Generations conference was the first time we really considered how much needs to change if we are to create a prosperous, resilient, healthier, more equal, cohesive, vibrant and responsible Wales.  The challenge now is to make that change happen, by continuing to work together around some of the ideas proposed at the conference.

Event Programme

Sponsors & Exhibitors