Can we build a new social capital agenda - new ideas for transforming the relationship between social capital, social media, citizenship, and well-being?
Wales and the rest of the UK has a long-term crisis. Fewer people are getting involved in doing things, running things, or just hanging around with each other. This Fellow-led event will look at how we help each other to help each other, or what’s formally known as ‘social capital’.
Whether it’s recognising two tribes increasingly having less to do with each other in post-Referendum UK, or simply things we took for granted no longer happening, there’s less social capital glue holding our society together. We need to build a ‘new social capital agenda’ to overcome both the challenge of reversing the decline in social capital in our society, as well as addressing the failure of the concept of ‘social capital’ itself to gain wider traction among change activists.
The RSA and others have invested in practical new approaches to make a difference.
This special event at the Senedd, Cardiff, sponsored by Jane Hutt AM, features:
Professor Ian Hargreaves CBE of Cardiff University on the ‘Creative Citizen in a Digitally Divided Age'
Professor Joyce Kenkre of the University of South Wales on ‘Putting Social Back into Communities - Creating Social Capital to Boost well-being’
Andy Green FRSA on ‘the Barry IdeasBank - an Engine for Building Social Capital’
Luke Loveridge FRSA on ‘Cardiff Citizen Tech Pioneers’
Other key contributions sharing trailblazing new ideas and innovative thinking.
More information about the speakers can be found below.
You're invited to come along and build extra social capital for you and your community of thinkers and do-ers. Doors will be open from 16:30 for a 17:00 start.
Please register to attend by following the "REGISTER" link above.
If you have any questions, please contact Andy Green FRSA: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bridges over troubled waters: creative citizenship in a time of digital division - Professor Ian Hargreaves CBE of Cardiff University
Digital and social media have entered a troubled middle age, associated by critics with the incivilities of trolling, tax dodging, wage-undercutting, and grand scale tax avoidance, not to mention child sex abuse, the filter bubble, and ubiquitous invasion of personal privacy. By this account, digitised communications may represent at the very least a fundamental cause of dimming social capital. And yet, it only seems like yesterday that these same shifts in media were hailed as potential engines of global political liberation, personal emancipation, self-expression, and innovation.
In a discussion about social capital in Wales, how can we make sense of these contrary indications? If your goal is the regeneration of communities or the strengthening of the polity and economy of a complex small country like Wales in challenging times, how should we approach these questions of digital media? What is their political, social, and communal value? Do they still offer innovative solutions to old problems? Or have we hit a dead end? Should we grope for the re-set button?
In addressing these questions, Ian Hargreaves will draw upon two pieces of current work with a strong Wales focus:
- A major study of creative citizenship conducted by six UK universities and their partners, focused upon community journalism, planning, and creative networks
- Creative Cardiff: an initiative of Cardiff University and its partners to add momentum to the Cardiff region’s creative economy.
Putting social back into communities - Professor Joyce Kenkre of the University of South Wales
Can we create a new way of thinking on how to improve well-being and thoughtfulness within our communities, by helping each other – so, if I help you, can you help someone else - with a focus on harnessing and strengthening the ability within people and their community for a better future.
For families struggling due to lack of knowledge of: parenting skills, family physical and metal ill health, and simply day-to-day living, there are examples of volunteers willing to help within the community. HomeStart volunteers have amazing social networks, which can help to address the needs of families but also upskill the parent, making a difference to families' lives. This value can be grown by connecting people to one another to build, strengthen networks of social relationships, and to generate social value or a ‘well-being dividend’ shared by people in the community.
‘Our Place’ is a group of young mother’s in Pontypridd who were socially isolated and lacked self-esteem. An innovative project, the impact on the group members’ lives has been transformational - improving their parent-child relationships and ability to make life choices, enabling them to boost their self-belief and self-confidence. Now, group members are supporting each other, running charity events, and advising on a range of research projects that will impact on the health and wellbeing of the community in Wales.
A Community IdeasBank for every town or city in the UK - a new engine for building Social Capital in our communities - Andy Green FRSA
Where do you go if you have an idea to make where you live better? The Barry IdeasBank, an RSA-funded project, addressed this question. It explored new ways of building ‘social collaborative capital’ - the muscle for creating social capital in our communities. Using a new role and resource of a ‘Tummler’ (a Yiddish word meaning ‘someone who gets the party going’) it worked to connect existing activists, typically operating in isolated pockets, with the wider community - anyone with a good mind to share. By using a blended approach of offline engagement and partnership-working, supported by an online 24/7 Ideasbank, it transforms the ideas bank concept away from being a ‘display cabinet of shiny ideas’ to ‘an engine for generating social capital’. It offers a potential sustainable and scalable business of an IdeasBank for every town or city in the UK.
Placing citizens at the heart of developing new technologies to tackle urban problems - Luke Loveridge FRSA
New technologies are being introduced at an ever-increasing pace. This brings huge opportunities but also significant challenges. In particular, technology tends to self-select and can be exclusive, which could contribute to widening inequality in our society. This presentation highlights some examples of projects – including the Cardiff Citizen Tech Pioneers pilot, and Bristol’s Approach to Citizen Sensing - that are trying to develop new technologies and services that involve and are based on the needs of local people.
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