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The idea

51.6, an Urban Foundry initiative, is a series of events and activities focusing on what we can accomplish when creativity, knowledge, enterprise and the passion and commitment of people to make a difference all come together. It’s an ongoing festival of ideas.

What we did

51.6 launched in March 2019. The first event invited Sam Conniff Allende, author of bestselling Be More Pirate, to run a workshop at the former Happy Home Furnishers shop on Castle Street, Swansea. Be More Pirate encourages individuals and businesses to build their own Pirate Code and demonstrate ways to leave a mark on the 21st century. Sam Conniff Allende’s thinking is that if we do not like the world we see around us, the onus is on us to change it.

The event was set up in an empty unit with a pop-up bar selling local ales and ciders. It was supported by Natural Resources Wales and Coastal Housing.

Impact of our work

Over 70 people attended the first event including an impressive representation of private, public, third sector decision-makers, artists, entrepreneurs and civil servants. In addition to providing a platform for meaningful networking and collaboration, it encouraged people to consider and remove their own personal and organisational barriers to changemaking. Feedback from the first event was incredibly positive and generated considerable interest and support for future 51.6 events.

Emails from attendees of the Be More Pirate workshop:

“Loved the Be More Pirate event last week”

“Thanks for the invite, I really enjoyed”

“Really enjoyed the event last Thursday and look forward to attending more in the future”

“Demonstrated that with the right attitude and crew, we can be brave and follow a different path to achieve our goals”

Subsequently, we have run several further 51.6 events – all of them focused on inspirational stories from those from outside the local area but all with a focus on things that individual participants could take away and do themselves.

We were also delighted to have been given a mention in the sequel to Sam’s initial book, this time co-authored by his fellow pirate-in-chief Alex Barker!

Event #2 - Matt Callannan on kindness

Event #3 - John Little on Community Green Infrastructure

Event #4 - Hilary Powell and pulling a bank job