Cultural Playing Field


Growing the Big Society by Robin Simpson
September 23, 2010, 11:01 am
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , , , , ,

I was back in London on Tuesday to take part in ‘Growing the Big Society’, an event organised by the Community Sector Coalition (CSC) and hosted by the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) to explore the Government’s Big Society agenda. We heard presentations from Steve Moore of the Big Society Network, Nicola Bacon from the Young Foundation, Bert Provan from CLG and CSC Director Matt Scott. It was very interesting to hear a wide range of perspectives on what ‘Big Society’ might mean: I found the Young Foundation’s 10-point programme ‘Investing in Social Growth’ a particularly useful framework, see: http://www.youngfoundation.org/files/images/YF_Bigsociety_Screen__2_.pdf. Ironically, shortly after Francis Sealey from Global Net21 spoke about the need to recreate the “public square where people can come together and talk about pressing issues”, the fire alarm went off and we found ourselves gathering in a ‘public square’ round the corner from CLG where the final speaker, Andrew Climo from the Institute of Leadership & Community Management, had to declaim in soapbox style to the gathered crowd, without the benefit of his PowerPoint presentation. It was an interesting and thought-provoking event, though the spectacle of several thousand people being evacuated from the CLG building (very quickly and efficiently – the fire alarm was caused by some smoke from a small electrical fault) will inevitably be everyone’s main memory.

Robin Simpson.

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