Invitation to a Good Society Focus Group
We invite you to a winter conversation; to reflect on concepts of a Good Society and the emerging themes within our research. This will contribute to our iterative research on concepts of a Good Society and reflect on emerging themes.
Theme: Fairness & Equality
Date: 30th November 2-4pm
In June 2016, we presented our discussion paper ‘A Good Society; a Collaborative Conversation’ as a starting point for further conversation, reflection and thinking. The Collaborative Conversation report is available here; https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/i4p/i4p-webb-memorial-trust. This Conversation document is designed to summarise our work so far and to encourage further conversation around the concept of a Good Society and how it might be achieved. We have identified the key themes which have emerged and these include the importance of the voluntary and community sector (VCS), the importance of an independent sector in in creating a counter narrative to neoliberalism, and the importance of local democracy, collaboration, trust and public love. After the second round of discussions and conversations we will submit our final report to the Webb Memorial Trust in the spring of 2017.
We invite you to a winter conversation; to reflect on concepts of a Good Society and the emerging themes within our research. We are extending our collaborative conversations asking people to comment and discuss our existing research themes from specific perspectives; Food Poverty, Race and Poverty, Migration, Young People, Older People, Rural Poverty, Poverty Truth Commissions. Our idea is to run a 2 hour session with a small group discussion around what is a Good society in relation to Civil Society’s response to each of the above themes and then a participatory session creating a graffiti wall that summarizes the groups thoughts. These graffiti walls will then be turned into visual minutes by our graphic designer.
A number of significant changes have taken place since the Newcastle workshop earlier this year, all of which will have the potential to shape how a good society can be achieved.
- On 23 June, Britain voted to leave the European Union. Following the vote a new government was formed. Article 50 will be triggered by March 2017 to begin the process of leaving the EU but much of the government’s intentions remain unclear. While the economy has not immediately suffered as was predicted, the Pound has weakened. In communities reports of hate crime have risen by 41%.
- The new government has signalled it will do more for those on low and middle incomes to create a more equal society. However its first substantial policy announcement was the creation of more grammar schools; it has abandoned deficit reduction targets but key local public services continue to face budget reductions and increased cost pressures.
- The Labour Party held a second leadership election that reaffirmed Jeremy Corbyn’s continuing support among the party’s membership and tensions with Labour MPs
- Proposals for devolving powers to the North East collapsed in September with four local authorities refusing to sign up to the agreement, leaving speculation about a North of Tyne agreement between the government, Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.
To find out more about our ongoing research into a good society, including briefing papers and literature reviews visit www.edgehill.ac.uk /I4P
Dr Katy Goldstraw
Edge Hill University Institute for Public Policy and Professional Practice