SMALL CHANGE FORUM

"What exactly is 'small change'? Build a bus stop in an urban slum and a vibrant community sprouts and grows around it - that is the power of small changes that have huge positive effects...Small Change is an argument for the wisdom of the street, the ingenuity of the improvisers and the long-term, large-scale effectiveness of immediate, small-scale actions."
Extract from the book 'Small Change: About the art of practice and the limits of planning in cities' by Nabeel Hamdi (Earthscan, 2004)

The Small Change Forum comprises of an international network of people and organisations interested in the Small Change community development approach as pioneered by CENDEP's Emeritus Professor Nabeel Hamdi. The approach starts with the common sense assumption: to achieve something big, start with something small and start where it counts. Research, events, and live projects as part of the Forum share new ideas, working methods and practical wisdoms.

Blackbird Leys residents

Projects

Time to Talk: Digital Storytelling in the Leys (2015)

A digital story is a short film approximately two – three minutes long told in the first person that, when combined with photographs, shares personal insights about people and their life experiences. CENDEP’s Jeni Burnell worked with StoryWorks UK in the Blackbird and Greater Leys neighbours in Oxford to make a series of digital stories that share the unique heritage and character of the estate. From a Small Change perspective, findings from the project explore the role of participatory arts, and in particular digital storytelling, as a tool for increasing people’s understanding of a neighbourhood and whether this can act as a catalyst for change.

Developed in collaboration with StoryWorks UK, Museum of Oxford, Oxford City Council and Leys CDI, the project has received a Sharing Heritage grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Apart from being available online, the completed stories will be exhibited at the Museum of Oxford, Oxford Town Hall, as part of their ’40 Years, 40 Objects’ exhibition, which will start on the 28th of September 2015 and run until February 2016.

Our Place: Creating Small Change in the Leys, 2013

Carried out in associated with Oxford City Council and the Leys Neighbourhood Partnership, the ‘Our Place’ project took place in the Blackbird and Greater Leys neighbourhoods of Oxford. It used internationally recognised community engagement techniques such as neighbourhood mapping and interviews, to uncover what people liked and disliked about their neighbourhood and what small change they would make to improve it. Issues relating to identity, safety and services were identified in the process. A series of creative projects are being developed which respond to these findings; their aim being to spark bigger, longer-lasting change in the Leys. View the short film at smallchangeforum.org

Small Change: Shaping Stirchley, 2012

Multistory worked with community artists, Place Prospectors, this project explored creative ways of bring back to life Stirchley Park, a 'forgotten park' which is currently underused in the heart of the Stirchley neighbourhood in Birmingham. View the short film at smallchangeforum.org

Small Change: Agents of Change, Tufnell Park, 2012

Following the riots in England in 2011, a group of students from London's Acland Burghley School in Tufnell Park, Camden, worked with Multistory to create a community journalism group. The project, developed by the young people, explored issues affecting their local community including the perceptions the community had of them post riots. View the short film at smallchangeforum.org

Small Change: Committee of Lost Memories, Charlemont, 2012

Commissioned by Multistory, community artists, Katy Beinart and Torange Khonsari, made a small change on the Charlemont Farm Estate in West Bromwich, England. They created a pop-up shop and community café called the Committee of Lost Memories. The project investigated how the arts and creative intervention can reinvigorate disused shops on underused high streets. View the short film at smallchangeforum.org

Small Change: Made in Foxhill, 2012

Foxhill is a deprived neighbourhood in south Bath (England). The community of Foxhill currently faces big and imminent changes due to a large regeneration housing scheme about to take place in their neighbourhood. This Multistory project explored how community stories, captured through photography, film and personal narrative, can be shared with decision-makers at the local authority; the aim being to give people whose views would normally not be heard a voice in their communities' change. View the short film at smallchangeforum.org

Small Change: Building resilient communities, 2011

The small change team travelled to the North Indian Himalayan region of Leh, Ladakh to carry out a one week workshop with students from the Government Girl's Higher Secondary School. Developed in response to the 2010 flash flood and mudslide disaster that affected the region, the workshop combined education, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and the arts to strengthen community resilience to future disasters. Download the report here (pdf)

The Small Change Forum: Creative Project 2012
The Small Change Forum: Creative Project 2012
The Small Change Forum: Creative Project 2012
The Small Change Forum: Creative Project 2012
The Small Change Forum: Creative Project 2012
The Small Change Forum: India Creative Project 2011
The Small Change Forum: Creative Project 2012
The Small Change Forum: India Creative Project 2011
The Small Change Forum: Creative Project 2012
The Small Change Forum: India Creative Project 2011
The Small Change Forum: Creative Project 2012
The Small Change Forum: India Creative Project 2011
The Small Change Forum: Creative Project 2012
The Small Change Forum: India Creative Project 2011
The Small Change Forum: Creative Project 2012
The Small Change Forum: India Creative Project 2011
The Small Change Forum: Creative Project 2012
The Small Change Forum: India Creative Project 2011
The Small Change Forum: Creative Project 2012

CONTACT DETAILS

Jeni Burnell, Forum Chair

Centre for Development and Emergency Practice

Oxford Brookes University, Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane, Oxford, UK, OX3 0BP

Tel: +44 (0) 1865 482844
Fax: +44 (0) 1865 483298

jburnell@brookes.ac.uk

SMALL CHANGE: CODE OF CONDUCT

Ignorance is liberating
Start where you can: never say can't
Imagine first: reason later
Be reflective: waste time
Embrace serendipity: get muddled
Play games: serious games
Challenge consensus
Look for multipliers
Work backwards: move forwards
Feel good

Taken from Hamdi, N (2004) Small Change: About the Art of Practice and the Limits of Planning in Cities. London: Earthscan