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Big Society in the North - first event

Wednesday 28th July 2016, 12:07

Last night around 100 people attended the first Big Society in the North event. Sammie, Tan and I popped along to the Electric Works in Sheffield to join in and see if the Big Society can be shaped by us and not by Government.


The idea behind the event was to start to get people together to talk about how it would work in the North.

Following on from presentations to set the scene from John Popham, Julian Dobson about why they set up Big Society in the North, was Steve Moore from Big Society Network. Then it was on to the real reason we were there. The idea was for the people there to talk about what they think about it the ideas to join discussion groups/make contacts, tell their stories. 

So what did I learn from the discussions last night

  • Big Society is confusing - there a lack of a framework around it
  • There is lots of strong opinion around it
  • Many people are already doing lots of things Big Society wants to create
  • There is a need for a critical friend 
  • Opportunities to work with other sectors - particularly in social media/technology area to develop new and interesting ways to work with communities
  • That we shouldn't expect everyone to want to use the internet (acknowledge that there are people out there it just won't work with)
  • Lots more conversations need to take place as we just didn't have enough time
  • We need to ensure that the cuts don't damage the ability to deliver on Big Society and fight to protect the good work that already exists
For me the best part of the event was the use of technology at the event. I think it presents us with a new way of working, some great opportunities to work with other people who have the skills to help us do it and also for us to learn how to work better together.
I found this on the web and thought it was interesting: Big Society or just Big Conversation?
Big Society in the North made a good start to taking Big Society into our own hands, and I look forward to more events.

Sue Peterfield, Development Officer - Policy

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