A small discussion seminar among people involved with community initiatives in one way or another was held in Glendale, North Northumberland, 30-31st August 2013 to explore the above theme. Participants had diverse experiences – community organising, business, public sector, academia, politics; and came from a variety of locations – Northumberland and North East England, elsewhere in the UK and Europe generally, and had experience as well from countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Website addresses for the experiences referred to in the text are listed at the end. Seminar participants recognised that present times – politically and economically – are opening up more spaces of opportunity for community initiative whilst also presenting many challenges. The discussion was structured to explore this opportunity, firstly from the perspective of community initiatives, many of the participants being actively involved in such work at the present time. This led to consideration of the kinds of institutional support which helps to encourage and cultivate such initiatives, and discussion of what practices might undermine them. We strongly encourage more attention to the dynamics and variety of community initiative among academics, those designing public policies and those involved in governance practices.