Civil Society Futures: Places and spaces

06 September 2018

“We’re losing space; the spaces where we used to come together to talk, to dance, to debate, to play, to form new ideas about the world."

In May 2018, we discussed the initial findings of the Civil Society Futures Inquiry, which argued that increased community powers are needed to heal divisions across the country.

The Inquiry continues to move forward at pace, and has recently shifted its focus to the ways we can take control of the places and spaces that matter to us.

As Rhiannon White, co-founder of Common Wealth Theatre and a panel member of Civil Society Futures, said:

“We’re losing space; the spaces where we used to come together to talk, to dance, to debate, to play, to form new ideas about the world.

“And not just spaces in the physical sense (community centres, youth clubs and nightclubs) but metaphysical spaces – from the gulf that exists between people to the amount of space we physically take up; our space is at breaking point and for civil society to flourish we need to address how to reclaim it. The future of civil society depends on it.”

Civil Society Futures are specifically looking for your thoughts on:

  • How can we support local organisations to connect with each other and work together more effectively?
  • How can people shape and drive the change they want in their communities, instead of just being consulted on top-down proposals from outside?
  • How can we avoid the unintended consequences of place-based approaches, such as exclusion and inequality and competition for resources?
  • How can we channel more sustainable funding to place-based communities and support people to spend it effectively?

To respond to the Inquiry, click here. Please note, the Inquiry is seeking responses relating to England.

The Civil Society Futures inquiry is independent, funded by Baring Foundation, Esmee Fairbairn, Barrow Cadbury, Paul Hamlyn, Lloyds Bank Foundation, City Bridge Trust, Lankelly Chase and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Research support has also been provided by NCVO.

The inquiry was formed to investigate how to maximise the positive effects of civic action, and provide a guide to how to release its potential to drive positive change.


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