The state of social capital in Britain

High profile event to discuss policy, evidence and pioneering initiatives on building social capital through civic participation and social connections on 11 November in London.

The social connections people have and their participation in civic life matters for many reasons. Given its importance as a resource for people, communities and effective public service reforms, Understanding Society has partnered with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and Cooperative Councils Innovation Network to host this one-day event to debate the state of social capital in Britain today.

Who will be attending this event?

It is aimed at social action pioneers, public service reformers, academics, policy advisors and practitioners from across government, voluntary organisations and social enterprises, local authorities, think tanks, universities, business CSR departments and charitable foundations.

Register for The State of Social Capital in Britain event

Delegates will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn about Understanding Society findings on trends in social capital
  • Debate the relationship between social capital and policy outcomes such as health and wellbeing, poverty and employment, young people’s prospects, neighbourhood development and cultural and sports participation
  • Share opportunities and challenges for building formal and informal active communities and purposeful social networks in a tough environment
  • Network with people from a range of sectors including voluntary organisations, social enterprises, local and central government , think tanks and universities.

The event is scheduled to take place during the ESRC Festival of Social Science (7-14 November 2015), enabling delegates to participate free of charge. The event will be hosted at the NCVO Headquarters, London, N1 9RL.

Programme highlights

9.30am to 11am
Key presentations setting out major issues from differing perspectives – policy, research and localism.

11.20am to 3pm
Parallel sessions and workshops covering Health and wellbeing; Neighbourhood development and community action; Developing young people; Poverty and employment prospects; Cultural and sports participation; Measuring social capital.

3.20pm to 4.30pm
A panel session and Q&A to reflect on issues from the day and discuss opportunities, evidence and challenges for boosting social capital.

Download the full programme or read the latest social capital report from the Centre for Social Investigation, Nuffield College, Oxford.

“Prosperity requires not just investment in economic capital, but investment in social capital,” Mark Carney, Bank of England Governor, 2014

Why social capital matters?

High social capital means a society rich in connections, co-operation and trust where people help each other and spend time for the “common good”.

The benefits of social capital are associated with better health, employment, well-being, tolerance and cohesion, and democratic participation. Whilst people in the UK have a long tradition of civic participation and social action concerns are also growing about deeper social fragmentation in some cases, perceptions of more people leading separate lives and civic inequalities.

Given the combined effects of a deep recession, continued austerity and an ageing society, some are now seeking more radical solutions to encourage an active citizenry, a sharing economy and remodel the relationship between welfare, public services and the role of citizens.

Find out more by reading the Join the debate on social capital blog from Acting Director of Understanding Society’s Policy Unit, Raj Patel

If you have any questions, please contact us.

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