Barry’s first ‘Festival of Ideas’ at the 8th Friendship Festival


I am organising Barry’s first ‘Festival of Ideas’ – a sharing of new ideas, personal passions, and poetry – is taking place as part of the 8th annual Friendship Tree Festival between 11am-4pm on Sunday July 23rd at the Knap gardens, Barry.

The ‘Festival of Ideas’ is a pop-up event aiming to be part platform for the spoken word and part soapbox for anyone in Barry who has anything to say to make the world a better place. It is being organised in my role as founder of the Barry IdeasBank.

It will feature an open mic programme of seven minute slots for anyone who has an idea – so long as it’s not racist, party political, or tedious.

The Festival has already attracted a number of poets sharing their poems along with polemicists speaking on topics such as the need for a universal basic income, why we need to speak to our neighbours, and is there such a thing as ‘Barryitus’?

So, if you’re in the area, bring an idea along with your friends and picnic – and share it.

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How the BREXIT vote is the latest consequence of our Social Capital crisis

social class

How many working class people do you know? Did half the people you know vote Brexit?

The Referendum result revealed a disturbing reality of two tribes within Britain – and what’s worse they’re increasingly having less to do with each other.

It is all part of a hidden crisis within our society – the decline of Social Capital – and it was partly responsible for the recent Referendum result.

This hidden Social Capital crisis affects the very heartbeat of how our communities work. Fewer people devote themselves to the communal good. Less of us are getting involved in doing things, running things or just hanging around with each other – how we help each other to help each other – reducing our capacity to connect, co-operate and collaborate.

As a result, things we took for granted in our communities start to happen less and less, or not happen at all, and people are increasingly operating within distinct silos of like-minded people – and we are all poorer as a result.

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