Last week I wrote a piece titled, Creative Communities: 'A call to Action'. My main point was Victorians can not just rely on the government to design our communities and places for us. It is evident individuals and communities need to play a much stronger and creative role in the process of designing and caring for place. It is interesting to read just now that the conservative Prime Minister David Cameron see's the need for social action and Creative Communities in a prelude to a book Compendium for the Civic Economy (see link below). Here is a quote from the UK Prime Minister:
"The idea at the heart of the Big Society is a very simple one: that real change can’t come from government alone. We’re only going to make life better for everyone in this country if everyone plays their part – if change in our economy and our society is driven from the bottom up."
Some people have been dismissive about this. They have claimed that there’s no appetite for this change and that it’s all too impractical. The great thing about this book is that it shows the type of entrepreneurship that generates civic action and the Big Society, and what it can achieve.
It demonstrates that there is public appetite for more civic action. The examples in these pages show people’s real yearning to make a difference and feel more connected to their neighbourhoods. Whether it’s the residents of Todmorden coming together to plant fruit trees or the crowds that flock to Brixton Market, it’s clear that when the opportunity is there to volunteer or to support local enterprises, people grab it.
And this book blows apart the myth that civic action is impractical; something that might make people feel good but doesn’t make a difference. The inspiring examples in these pages have achieved everything from supporting local farmers to reducing carbon emissions to helping educate children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
These are real, tangible benefits – and they show just what a powerful difference can be made when people come together to make life better. I welcome this book and congratulate all the social pioneers in its pages who have done their bit to improve the places we live in and the lives we lead. Keep up the good work".
Read the book here: http://www.nesta.org.uk/assets/documents/compendium_for_the_civic_economy