Bringing Gloucestershire Together.

For People, Place And Planet. 

The Meeting Ground is a Gloucestershire not-for-profit initiative to tackle the county's toughest social and environmental challenges.

We're an innovation lab - an organisation through which people can devise and pilot creative solutions.

We're a system convenor - bringing together individuals and organisations who each hold parts of a better way forward.

And we're a catalyst - running groundbreaking initiatives ourselves that push the bounds in the county. Disruptive – deliberately – for good.

Asset-Based. Committed. Hopeful. 

We Have Much To Be Positive About

Gloucestershire is a county full of talented and caring people, many working hard to improve society and the environment. 

In recent years, many public services have been transformed - becoming increasingly place-based and citizen-centred.

More businesses have been thinking hard about their social impact and sustainability.

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And when COVID hit, third sector organisations the length and breadth of Gloucestershire responded amazingly.

We know we have it in us to be innovative and entrepreneurial.

Honest. Compassionate. Determined. 

But the status quo is still not OK

Across the county, twelve and a half thousand children in Gloucestershire are assessed as living in poverty. Twenty thousand people live in neighbourhoods which are amongst the UK's 10% most deprived.

The county's economy is held back by its lack of affordable housing - and shamed by its outright homelessness.

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Like the rest of the UK, we are suffering from an epidemic of poor mental health. Too many lives are blighted by loneliness. Food poverty is on the rise. And the barriers that make life hard for people with disabilities can seem baked-in.

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Meanwhile, the global climate crisis laps at our shores - literally during floods - while we continue to contribute to the degradation of our natural environment.

It's bad for the county, the people who live here and our businesses. And it doesn't have to be this way.

Curious. Engaged. Brave. 

It's Time To Be Bold.

“If You Always Do What You've Always Done, You'll Always Get What You've Always Got.”

(As the carmaker Henry Ford once said.)

The Meeting Ground is here for those who are keen to experiment - to go further, faster - with new approaches, working across boundaries of geography and sector.

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An initiative for those who believe diversity should be our strength and who want to reach out within Gloucestershire, and beyond.

A Meeting Ground for All

Supporting the Public, Private and Third Sectors

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Few of the challenges we face in Gloucestershire - social or environmental - will be effectively tackled if the public, private or third sectors act in isolation from one another. The lives of our fellow citizens are intimately shaped by all three - often interacting with each other - and our innovation and entrepreneurship must reflect that reality too.

Working In All Corners Of The County

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Gloucester and Cheltenham - our two biggest centres of population - often get most of the attention. And making Gloucestershire home to the most effective social and environmental innovation anywhere in the South West will depend heavily on what happens there.
But there is so much more to the county. All our regions have their own character and strengths which should be nurtured. Gloucestershire is simply not big enough to indulge in too much local rivalry. We must pull together.


Embracing All Interest Groups and Communities

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Gloucestershire is a diverse county. But we often ignore the evidence that our diversity is also associated with entrenched discrimination and disadvantage.

Instead, we should be harnessing that diversity better as a positive enabler of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Inclusion is a core, founding value of The Meeting Ground. It is both right and in the interests of the county to embrace more of its people’s talents.

Click here for more about The Meeting Ground as a place where sectors, regions and communities can come together, debate, explore and experiment.