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  • Writer's pictureSteve Mortlock

Losing Control Event - Oxford April 2017

What happens when you put a group of people in a room to discuss the practicalities of creating a social movement fit for change? Well a little bit of chaos, a lot of learning, and a great new bunch of friends who share the vision of creating something good.

Three of us here at Salford Dadz - Little Hulton were invited to attend this event which formed part of "Marmalade" the informal, dynamic, free and open-access fringe event to the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship.

We traveled down to Oxford on the evening of Tuesday 4th April and after parking the car at the local park and ride hopped on a bus into the centre of Oxford. Although Steve (our chair) managed to get us to our accommodation quite quickly after the bus ride we did walk past the door at least three times before we managed to find it. We were staying in student accommodation at Christ Church College, one of Oxfords oldest universities.

In Steve's defense the way in wasn't exactly obvious. During the day the gate (in the middle of the photo) is open but at night it is closed and the small door that is part of the main gate is quite hard to see and is not signed.

Once checked in we went to our rooms and freshened up before heading back out into Oxford to get our bearings for the next day.

One thing that struck us while walking around Oxford was the amount of homeless people that were on the streets, we tend to think of places like Oxford as being affluent and populated by students and rich people and didn't expect the sites we saw.

We were told by one of the other participants of the event the next day that Oxford actually has higher rates of homelessness than London.

Breakfast was rather a splendid affair, not just because the food was great (although any cooked breakfast that you don't have to cook yourself has to be good!) but rather the surroundings in which we ate.

We can now say that we have eaten in the hall that was the inspiration for the great hall at Hogwarts, of Harry Potter fame.

Now this might not be something that you as an adult think is great but I can assure you that my kids were very impressed.

So after a breakfast during which I think we spent more time enjoying the surroundings than eating it was off to find the venue for the event which was the Old Firestation which is now an Arts Centre.

After a short walk we arrived and quickly met with our hosts and were introduced to the gentleman who was to be our guide during the two days of the event. Paul, from Friends of the Earth, was to help us and guide us through various activities. He was a great guy and helped us a lot.

The next day and a half were filled with activities, discussions, and listening to various speakers. To say our minds took a couple of weeks to settle is an understatement. We look forward to loosing control again as soon as we can.

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