Tim Smit, CEO of The Eden Project, joins an expert panel to ask whether initiatives such as The Big Lunch can provide the social capital boost Britain needs? Is the death of community overstated or do we all have the ability to transform our own communities?
Community is a word that has been rendered almost meaningless by its overuse and misuse over the last thirty years. The towns we live in no longer reflect a set of shared occupations defined by geography and local trade. The lack of shared history and reasons to meet have meant that neighbourhoods are increasingly made up of people who don't know each other. The missing social glue needs to be replaced with new moments and events in which all can claim a stake and collectively redefine what our community is, or can be.
The idea lies behind the Eden Project's The Big Lunch. For the last four years the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) has been assessing the social impact of this Lottery funded initiative, since its launch in 2009. Year on year they have argued that the simplicity of a shared meal with neighbours works, has an ongoing social impact and is sustainable. So, could The Big Lunch provide the social capital boost Britain needs? Is the death of community overstated or do we all have the ability to transform our own communities?
Speakers: Tim Smit, CEO and co-founder, The Eden Project; Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive, LGiU; and Linda Quinn, director of communications and marketing, The Big Lottery Fund.
Chair: Fi Glover, broadcaster and presenter.