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Gateshead Place Action Inquiries

Our work is less about delivering products or service and much more about running experiments to see what effect they yield on systems. We call these 'action inquiries' because they are simultaneously about doing and learning.

Sometimes action inquiries begin with a question: 'What spaces do people have to learn in this particular area?' Sometimes they begin with a problem, like the often unhealthy dynamics between funders and providers. Sometimes they begin with a relationship or a hunch.

Our approach to building healthier systems is that there's no single magic solution to be uncovered, but rather what is needed is to get lots of small innovations started and to build the resonances and connections between them, pulling more and more people into their orbit. So we will be developing more and more action inquiries to see what happens.

Here are some of the action inquiries we have started so far:

SIGNAL inquiry
Learning is a luxury
Gateshead Coord Team

SIGNAL Inquiry

SIGNAL is a methodology designed to tackle poverty, built on the principle that poverty is a multi-dimensional issue and that finding solutions to problems must put people who are experiencing those problems at the heart of the process. It is a digital platform (which can also be deployed as paper-based) that enables people to identify their life priorities. It uses an intuitive, picture-based, accessible survey through a facilitated conversation, which aggregates...

Learning is a Luxury Inquiry

Last year we interviewed over 40 people across the Gateshead system about their experience of working in the borough, with a particular focus on the issue of ‘learning’. We fed our top-level findings back to the system at an event in January 2020. We called the event ‘Learning is a Luxury’ – which was also our headline finding.


The system told us they were too busy doing the work and...

Gateshead Coordination Team

The Gateshead Coordination Team - brought together as part of the Lankelly Chase Foundation's place-based work - are acting as system stewards to help improve the health of the Gateshead system based on local knowledge.


The team has been established to bring together people from across Gateshead (for one year initially) so that they can hear what each other are hearing from different parts of the system. From there...

cartoon of a tree
Drawing from a CIACIC workshop called 'Learning is a luxury' showing a journey of learning in Gateshead
photo of the red man lit up in a pedestrian crossing light
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