Big Society Network (UK)

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Description

"The Big Society Network is the face and hands of the recently elected UK government's Big Society initiative. It is intended to help people and communities achieve change in their local area. It's aim is "to create a new relationship between citizens and Government, in which both are genuine partners in getting things done: real democracy using all the human and technological tools we now have available. This partnership will also add a third and fourth leg to its sturdy chair by involving business and the voluntary sector."

From the network's website, the Big Society name appears to come from an idea of helping individuals feel big. The Big Society Network appears to aim to increase the proportion of UK citizens who believe they can influence local decision and find value in attending public meetings. It wishes to address the anger and frustration felt at the recent behaviour of both the City (financial sector of the nation's capital) and Westminster (Government) and the feeling of relative powerlessness to change them. On the website, they presume that citizens "are often anonymous tax-payers without a real sense of how [their] money gets spent. Most of [them] try to be reasonably good citizens but [their] influence seems very small.

The Big Society Network wants to help people get things done, help connect people with common aims, encourage discussion about what they want to share and change together in order to make their neighbourhoods stronger, safer, and more enjoyable. The intention is that every citizen can be a shareholder, contribute to a national mutual society and receive help and rewards.

"The Big Society Network is, above all, practical. It’s an enormous tool-box of advice, case histories, links to people and resources, using the power of the Internet, mobiles, and face-to-face action." (http://www.thebigsociety.co.uk/idea.html)

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