Can we co-create the Big Society?

What is the ‘Big Society’ all about? Do faith based groups and organisations fit into it?

‘The goal of the Big Society is to make it easier for everyone to be an active part of an active group, especially those that comprise people from very different backgrounds.’ So says Nat Wei, appointed by Prime Minister David Cameron to help turn the idea into reality. He believes that the challenge is to involve citizens in the design of services, this is known as co-production, an expression I expect we will be hearing at lot more of.

Sceptics have said that it is just about delivering services for lower cost by using voluntary organisations, but this is a caricature that doesn’t do the thinking behind the idea justice and will not help us engage with it - an argument put forward by Gabriel Chanan and Colin Miller

I think that we have a unique, and probably short-lived opportunity, to help work out what this partially formed idea is about and how it will take place in, and shape our communities. It’s clear from the examples of faith based social action evidenced on this website and the extensive experience of people in the FbRN Network that, if the Big Society is to be what it says, then it must include faith based organisations.

We need to engage with this idea and ensure that the voice and experience of faith based organisations is heard: participate in the forums, and discussions in our areas and online: let FbRN know what you are thinking and what is happening in your area.

Doreen Finneron