Ripples of Hope: An inspiring case for regeneration

Author: Belong Network
Published: October 14, 2021

Belong’s Digital, Events and Comms Coordinator, Alex Fraser, reflects on her time at Ripples of Hope Festival.

In September Belong was delighted to sponsor ​​a unique new five-day festival inspired by people and their stories, strength and creativity. Ripples of Hope was held at HOME in Manchester and was a wonderful celebration of the power of people to make change.

The full five days were truly inspiring and very timely with a focus on five key themes: Dignity & Justice; Equity & Equality; Activism & Participation; Arts & Culture; and Environment & the Planet. We had the pleasure of hearing from a range of incredible speakers including Hillary Rodham Clinton, Kerry Kennedy and Mac Macartney.


The Business and Investment Summit opening plenary.

An important topic at the Business and Investment Summit was the notion of regeneration for businesses and organisations, with our trustee Shalni Arora taking part in a captivating panel discussion during the opening plenary. Shalni offered valuable insight on the importance of using education and compassion as tools on the journey to making your organisation more sustainable, suggesting that, “as we think about regeneration and rebuilding we have to think about those people who are left behind.”

The term ‘sustainability’ has been inescapable in the last few years and if there was one thing that the many varied voices who spoke at the festival could agree on it was that sustainability is no longer a sufficient goal – we must all make regeneration our new aim.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines regeneration as ‘the act of improving a place or system, especially by making it more active or successful’. This may look like different things for different people, businesses and organisations but it’s imperative for the wellbeing of society that we are powered by a desire to regenerate. We can all play a part in regeneration by changing the way we shop, looking at our business supply chains, or taking steps to revitalise our neighbourhoods and communities.

Belong’s Research and Development Manager, Dr Kaya Davies Hayon presents during the social cohesion workshop we hosted at the festival.

For Belong regeneration is at the core of what we hope to support in many of our members who are doing vital social cohesion work to improve and regenerate their communities, making them a safer and more harmonious environment for all.

Some of the brilliant talks from Ripples of Hope Festival are now available to watch here for anyone wanting to know more about the topics discussed.