The first speaker to take to the stand is Tony Armstrong, Locality's CEO.

Tony exclaims that he has led Locality since 2014, he kindly welcomes everyone to the convention and offers some tips on how to make the most of the next couple of days.

Tony is a living, breathing icebreaker and he soon has the whole room laughing and feeling at ease.

Following a brief run down of what to expect, Tony welcomes The Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, to the stage.

Marvin is genuinely inspiring in every way. Whilst the coffee at the convention is good stuff, nothing wakes you up more than the powerful, thought-provoking words that seem to effortlessly flow from The Mayor.

Five minutes into his speech and I suddenly realise just how silent the room has become, over 500 people are stunned, literally fixated on Marvin and are carefully digesting every word he has to say.

Marvin's credentials really shine through as he speaks, as a former BBC journalist, public health worker and voluntary sector manager it's clear that he knows his stuff.

The words "How do you get power from institutions that don't offer it? Start with your assets and what you can/already do" really strike a chord as Marvin relays his thoughts on tackling the "stagnated development" that can occur within projects and how "the world has changed from year one."

"Local power and influence is how we can start to change things in the community"

“I’m an imperfect person, in an imperfect system trying to create change and do our best”

A ferocious round of applause draws Marvin's speech to a close.

Inspirational to say the least.

Next part: Amy Kinnear & Suzanne Wilson

To read more about my Locality experience click here!