Being A Well North Innovator

Real change comes from the conversations that happen in free space. Through people stepping up and bringing others along with them.  We’re firm believers in creative disruption, in focusing on the practical not the theoretical.

Over the last four years we’ve used this approach with ten Pathfinder areas across the North of England.  They have been bold in taking a new approach to transforming their local communities, through innovative thinking, an entrepreneurial mindset and creative grass-roots projects.

We’ve distilled all the learning from these Pathfinders into a model of change, and a flexible three-stage process which delivers sustainable results.


Talking is important, but we don’t bother unless we can get something done. What makes us special is that alongside the bright sparks at the top, we’ve got a team who are fantastic at finding those unique individuals, unearthing opportunities, and backing communities to realise their full potential.

Getting to know communities

We like to immerse ourselves into communities. It’s not because we’re nosey, it’s about digging deep into the challenges they face, finding the community leaders and talking to the people on the street, so we can start tailoring our solutions. This is the first step in our approach.

Putting the tools in place

We bring a toolkit bespoke for each situation to help communities breakdown their barriers. Take a look here at some examples of how we encourage creativity and communication to blossom into real-life community projects. Our tools help to gain a better picture of the readiness for change both in practical terms and in mindset and ambition. It helps us hold a mirror up for where things are really at locally and it’s where we start to see the sparks of opportunity start to ignite.

Our learning in this phase informs what follows in the immersion phase.


Our pathfinders don’t do half measures. Once we’ve got an idea, we won’t stop until we see it coming to fruition.  Our immersive events bring community figures together with people from the business, voluntary and social enterprise sectors to deepen relationships and put the wheels in motion for building and developing a positive culture for embedded long-term change.

Stimulate the conversation

We’re about giving our clients that little push towards seeing the wood for the trees. Engaging a community in a proper conversation is the best way to allow them to discover how bold they’re willing to be, and what steps they can take to making change happen.

When the bar has been set so low for so long, it can be hard for people to see it getting any higher. We engage in two-way conversation and use real-life examples to encourage communities to ask themselves: why can’t the bar be raised?

Flexible, bespoke workshops

We bring together the right people for the job in our flexible, immersive and bespoke workshops – be that from the business sector, volunteers, social entrepreneurs or community members. These immersive events deepen relationships, raise ambitions and start to put in place the mechanisms to help implant the right culture. You’ll leave with an ambitious plan of action to help you realise the vision you will have collectively designed that is about real and lasting change.

Sharing our stories

Take a look at what we’re doing, what we’ve done and the people who we are proud to be associated with.


Once we’ve helped you be as bold as you can be in your local ambition, we’ll support you to make this a reality. We’ll put a bespoke team around you and draw on our own knowledge and experience, our networks and connections to bring your vision to life.

When exploring opportunities, it’s more likely than not that you’ll hit a few dead ends before you strike gold. Even when you do strike gold – what are you going to do with it? We’re not here to tell you exactly which route to take, or what to do when you get there, but we will keep you energised and enthusiastic, so that you find your own way and don’t end up spending that gold all at once.

We’ll look to expose you to a mature example of transformation relevant to your own aspirations, to encourage some of the ‘principles’ of what has worked to be taken away and to translate this locally, to your own place.

Ongoing Support

Whether you’re an existing Well North pathfinder or a new client, we’re always here to help at any stage of your journey. Want to refresh your vision, source funding for local start-up enterprises or develop the skills of potential community leaders? Get in touch and we can work with you to unlock potential in your location.