Big Society / Good Society Round Table

  • Date:
  • Time: 14:30 - 18:00
  • Location: The Great Hall, University of Leeds

Under the current Coalition Government and in the contemporary, post-financial crisis era, the ‘Big Society’ has become an organising concept that signals a different way of thinking about and organising public, financial and social services. At the same time, no other recent policy idea has been the source of as much passionate advocacy, derision, confusion and critically righteous anger. There remains much uncertainty and debate about what the Big Society means and what its impacts through implementation might look like and what their social and economic consequences might be.

What is the Big Society and what does it mean for ordinary people as well as public, voluntary and private organisations? Just how much of a culture change and/or institutional transformation does the Big Society herald? Does the Big Society represent a genuine shift of power to determine priorities and spending to local people? Does the Big Society signal a new philanthropy or the birth/death of the voluntary sector? To what extent does the Big Society presage a vision of the ‘good society’?

These are just some of the questions that will be addressed and discussed at this timely roundtable event which brings together high profile speakers and an invited audience from the worlds or politics, research, professional practice, business and charitable organisations. This is a cross-university initiative bringing together and co-hosted by the Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law, the Leeds Social Science Institute and the Bauman Institute.


2:30pm Registration with light refreshments

3:00pm Contributions from the panel:

  • Zoe Williams, The Guardian (Chair)
  • Dr Jon Cruddas, Labour MP for Dagenham & Rainham
  • Bruce Davis, Visiting Research Fellow, Bauman Institute, University of Leeds
  • Neal Lawson, Chair of Compass
  • Professor Rebecca Tunstall, University of York

4:00pm Discussion and Q&A

5:00pm Drinks reception

6:00pm Close