While bureaucrats turn hopes into risk assessments, academics have a knack of turning action into conversation, ideas into notions: long may it continue, but whether this was a neo-liberal revivalist love-in, a polka across the carpet of good intentions or smart call to the barricades could be argued till the fluffy blue cows come home. Amid acute social and economic challenges, questions of where power really resides prompted fervent discussion. Ruth offered case study ‘proofs of the pudding’ and a clear framework for increasing ‘social capital’, citing Aneurin Bevan: “For us, empowerment meant the use of collective action to transform society and to lift all of us together”. Who shouts ‘Upwards!’? Ask a dance troupe perhaps.