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WREN Ideas Exchange

Wellbeing and Resilience European Network - is a Coexist project to connect community organisations fostering wellbeing and resilience across Europe.


The initial stage of this project is being conducted through an Ideas Exchange supported by the University of Bristol’s Brigstow Institute. This will take the form of an online convergence - a cross between an online conference and an open workshop space. 


The Ideas Exchange will be conducted in English and hosted online. It is open to community organisations around Europe and will feature a variety of talks, workshops and creative experiments.


Applications for Participation Open March 2023



Cultural and community spaces, organisations and local initiatives have powerful impacts on the communities they are situated in. These spaces and movements are also highly vulnerable as community-led regeneration can lead to gentrification; where private landlords displace communities or take advantage of them through the imbalance of power that ownership of land and property affords. Local municipal policies to redevelop or commercialise areas can disturb or destroy community initiatives and co-opt areas of local resurgence for the benefit of private developers and at the expense of local residents.


The ideas exchange will examine how successful community spaces can survive and thrive given the multitude of threats they face. This initial stage of the project aims to open up a wide territory of investigation where multiple strands can be explored from the stories we tell in our communities, to ways of organising and structuring projects/organisations, to campaign strategies and resource management to name a few. The Ideas Exchange will also explore how community organisations are responding to Covid 19 - with restrictions on how we gather, interact and work together, there are huge changes that are impacting people’s wellbeing and resilience, as well as the wellbeing and resilience of the organisations themselves.  Areas of exploration are not limited to these examples, and all participants will be able to suggest/lead enquiries during the Ideas Exchange.

Through bringing together community organisers and researchers from different European organisations and movements, this project seeks to illuminate the different approaches to nurturing community wellbeing – especially how it is conceptualised, measured and experienced. The project will also look at how resilience can be built and nurtured, and explore whether resilience can be enhanced through a European Network of like-minded initiatives. For example, the network could potentially help facilitate expressions of solidarity, and be used to share useful research, case studies, and co-create resources.


We are inviting different European partners to join our Ideas Exchange. From urban and community researchers, community groups running squats and meanwhile spaces, to part municipally funded cultural and community spaces, to intentional land and nature-based communities, we are seeking collaborators to join this exciting project. If successful, the hope is that the early foundations of a European network will arise, from where we will seek further funding for future meet-ups and other collaborative projects..

Key Themes for the Ideas Exchange

  • Wellbeing through empowered, creative participation

  • Resilience through community ownership and security of tenure

  • The commons and commoning in our communities

  • Community and culture in a global pandemic

  • Solidarity, collaboration and interdependence


We are offering 10 bursary places for organisations with financial restrictions|:  


1 x Place = €95

1 x Full Bursary = Free (No cost) 

1 x Supported Participation = €50 payment from Coexist to participating organisation

(E.g to cover administrative costs).

We will be publishing the structure of the Ideas Exchange and a timetable shortly.

All applicants will receive an email with an overview.

Cost, Structure & Timetable 

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