Big Society

Economic forum briefing on big society recommended – though I can’t see a link for it right now so keen ScotGovCamp folk please do let me know!

Discussion of community and what it is, how to encourage participation. North of England, us attitude, English vs Scottish ideas of branding big society

How does the term “Big Society” fit with cuts and how is the term compromised by it’s a association to a specific political group and to those cuts.

Real opportunities re: retiring and redundancies. Especially former public sector workers who have an interest in socially responsible activity and volunteering already, why cut off networks around these people when they leave? Training and events and connection are key to the private sector model and allow people to come back into the fold in better economic times.

But does this mean people are required to do for free what they used to be paid to do? That doesn’t address inequality and poor efforts. Social justice is important here.

Non optional here. It’s about cuts. There is a coming train wreck re: demographics. Scotland needs a 600 bed hospital every year from 2016 on current demographic trend. We are not sustainable living as we are.

Flexibility of work life that allows for volunteering is crucial to Big Society. Quite simple issue but crucial. Also lots of groups need it help and Internet access. More fundamental than that. Without meeting space what do you do. Need to be back to basics. Sue Gerhardt’s book on the Selfish Society.

Political parties with clashing languages. Part of problem is move from Christian to sectoral splits. Stopped talking about love etc. Fair was nearest term used but not good enough. Moral point of view not religious point of view.

Bike station – perfect example of Big Society – volunteers help people to fix their own bikes with support from members of staff. Comment back: but this may be the sort of facilitated volunteering that could face cuts as there is financial support enabling this activity to take place.

And then, as folks picked and chose their “keeper” elements of the concept of Big Society… we were out of time. A really interesting lively debate though.

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3 thoughts on “Big Society

  1. […] Will we even use the phrase the Big Society – probably not? You can read a write up of the session here. We choose to buy into this idea or we choose to ignore  it – regardless things have to […]

  2. […] Will we even use the phrase the Big Society – probably not? You can read a write up of the session here. We choose to buy into this idea or we choose to ignore  it – regardless things have to […]

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