How do you go about bringing people together? How can we begin to rebuild our communities and our nation? It’s one thing to declare the inequality in the world, that it’s unsustainable, and that it must change, but how practically can it be done?
Well, we need to rebuild from the grass roots up, there is no other way, but how? By rebuilding community. We lost community when our insatiable desire for more of everything led to valuing people by what they possessed rather than who they were. We must get back to basics. We must get reconnected, get local people talking to each other. We must discover the amazingly talented people that are around us, what skills they have, what they are passionate about, what they can contribute and by working together, rebuild our local communities. Then we can knit all these communities together nationally, because we are all interconnected. First things first though. Ponder these following questions:
- Where can anyone in the community, from any background or walk of life, come together and talk with other local people?
- Where can an unemployed person meet people in business in the local community without an interview or pre-judgement? Where can an unemployed person meet entrepreneurs, gain inspiration and meet potential collaborators?
- Where can councillors talk with the people in their ward, without an agenda, and find out what concerns local people?
- Where can students in their final years meet local people from different backgrounds and develop their social, conversational and interpersonal skills?
- How can schools and colleges integrate easily with others in the local community to share the good work they are doing, establish connections, and bring external real life experience and knowledge into education? How can they also convey the facilities and services they can provide to businesses to bring in much needed additional income?
- Where can local independent charities go to spread the message of the good work they do and gain support?
- Where can people go to find those connections in the local area that can solve problems for them and others, and / or get introduced to local influential and useful contacts?
- Where can we go to discover and learn about great initiatives being rolled out elsewhere in other communities where similar challenges exist and that may be equally applicable in our own community?
- When was the last time you had some great conversations with like-minded people which left you changed and exploring new ideas?
We lost our communities when we got advised to look after number one, and focus on “what’s in it for me?” We also lost the places of community where people gathered, talked, listened, learned and connected.
The closest thing we have had hitherto to bring people together has been business networking. Bringing businesses together to share knowledge and experience is great but it is only relevant to a sub-set of our community. How could we create a much more inclusive model that would enable everyone to participate?
What if we removed the barriers to participation? What if we decided to host free local community events to bring local people together? What if the purpose was to reconnect everyone locally with a ‘go to give’ not ‘go to get’ attitude? And what if the motive for bringing people together was solely that those attending would benefit? We would build higher levels of trust leading to more ideas, sharing, collaboration, and connectivity that undoubtedly would result in more local business being done too…
And so Link4Growth was born. An organisation that is inclusive. An organisation that enables anyone who wants to make a contribution to do so; charities, social enterprises, schools, colleges, artists, traffic wardens, tax collectors, poets, councillors, hospitals, businesses, employed and unemployed!
If you are a human being, alive and living in the UK you are able to join in with Link4Growth. There is something for everyone who would like to participate in the same way that we all have the option to get involved in our own local communities.
Our country is like a stroke victim, with all the synapses severely impaired, and unable to function properly. We no longer know our neighbours, many connections are either broken or badly damaged and we have lost the community spirit in many ways with people no longer meeting regularly to create these important connections. So how do we fix this?
We bring people together to talk, and the inclusive nature of Link4Growth ensures that attendance more closely resembles the diversity of people we find in our communities. Business, economics and money are essential of course, but it is only 30 percent of the story. Seventy percent is all the other essential work that goes on. Essential work that is often invisible and unrewarded but without which our communities would totally collapse and die.