Pioneering local authorities have refused to be downtrodden by the impacts of the current economic downturn. Several have adopted forms of economic activism and municipal innovation and the Government is promising to extend further powers to support this initiative. Necessity and a growing political consensus for more local devolution and accountability are combining to throw up new ideas for driving economic recovery, increasing choice, improving efficiency and not just surviving but thriving in a new era. This conference examined how to use the existing Well Being Powers and exploit the new powers of local decision making set out in the pre-budget report and the new Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill. Delegates heard from leading strategists and municipal innovators how to provide value for money and choice for citizens whilst streamlining services and driving economic recovery. The conference looked at groundbreaking approaches to using the Well Being Power, municipal banks, privatisation, shared services, reorganisation, procurement and sub-regional working.