Published 2nd October 2020

CO20 – The Power of Connection and Community

Sadly we weren’t able to bring everyone together in person for our annual meet up in 2020, but with our friends from the Betterway Network we ran our first online festival instead!

Self-organised, community driven efforts typically happen below the radar, and so often go unnoticed, but COVID19 shone a spotlight on the power of community and we really wanted to find a way to bring folk together to reflect on this, to share stories and to make connections – hence the theme for CO20 – The Power of Connection and Community.

"One of the most interesting and useful things I have attended during Lockdown"

People from across the network came forward to offer workshops:

Laura (Changing Lives),  Nick (FreeRiver Consulting),  Sam & Kay (TCC),  Moussa (Spoken),  Jasmine (Poet in the City),  Bethan (Toynbee Hall),  Rachel (The Bureau of Investigative Journalism),  Emily (Ageing Better),  Nicola (Starting Point Community Learning Partnership),  Deena (Think FC),  Maff (Camerados),  Clare (Grapevine Coventry & Warwickshire),  David (Shift Design),  Nick & Frances (Municipal Enquiry),   Tracey (Eden Project),  Bianca & Luke (Community Court Yard),   Professor Aladin,   Don (Born Lippy)
Thank you all!

Here is a flavour of the workshops!

  • Reframing vulnerability in the face of Covid19
  • Avoiding burnout: Healthy boundaries during COVID & beyond?
  • Hard to reach, or, easy to ignore?
  • Community Organising: A framework for collaboration or challenge
  • Connecting with Communities through Poetry
"Lots of ideas - very inspiring!"

Our keynote speak for CO20 was Sir Anthony Seldon.  In 2010 Sir Anthony published “Trust – how we lost it, and how to get it back” setting out how due to scandals involving “politicians to policeman, from banks to the BBC, [and] from social workers to sportsman” there had been an eroding of trust between people and the institutions that sought to serve them.

10 years on from this book we considered whether we have moved on from where we were, and what it will take to ensure that we don’t repeat past failings and get trust back into public life.

"We need more of this type of discussion"

The support from everyone who led workshops or participated was fantastic – making it a great event!