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Connected Communities - How social networks power and sustain the Big Society

Connected Communities - How social networks power and sustain the Big Society

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Published by The RSA
How social networks power and sustain the Big Society. Our work draws on a wealth of recent research that reveals the striking extent to which social networks affect our behaviour and wellbeing.
How social networks power and sustain the Big Society. Our work draws on a wealth of recent research that reveals the striking extent to which social networks affect our behaviour and wellbeing.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: The RSA on Sep 14, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/26/2015

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Our work is only possible due to the many people and organisations
that have funded, supported and engaged in our Connected
Communities programme in its frst year, and we would like to thank
them here.

The work was made possible through fnancial support from the
Department of Communities and Local Government, the New Cross
Gate Trust, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and
UK online centres, for which we are very grateful.

The input of stephen feber, Alison gilchrist, Clive wilson, Carolyn Hassan,
and david morris — all RSA Fellows — in helping to shape the project,
carry out the research and interpret our fndings has been
invaluable. A number of other RSA Fellows and other stakeholders
have contributed through expert seminars and reviews and online
discussions and made time to meet with us and explore and enrich
ideas — many thanks to them. The contributions from and discussions
between academics, policy makers, front-line workers and residents
has been key to assisting our aim of bringing the best theory and ideas
into practice.

We would like to thank the various members of staff who have worked
on and supported the project, including damani goldstein for
commencing the research and rohan talbot for helping to complete it.
Thank you to our editor, Jean mcneil, for her work in sharpening our
arguments and writing.

We would also like to thank the residents of New Cross Gate and
Knowle West who have participated in the research. Without their
openness and interest this work would not have been possible.
We look forward to further testing the ideas in this report with you
in the future.

VI

How soCiAl networks power And sustAin tHe big soCiety

About

tHe rsA

For over 250 years the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts,
Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) has been a cradle of
enlightenment thinking and a force for social progress. Our approach
is multi-disciplinary, politically independent and combines cutting
edge research and policy development with practical action.

We encourage public discourse and critical debate by providing
platforms for leading experts to share new ideas on contemporary
issues. Our projects generate new models for tackling the social
challenges of today and our work is supported by a 27,000 strong
Fellowship — achievers and infuencers from every feld with a real
commitment to progressive social change.

tHe AutHors

Jonathan rowson holds a frst class degree in Politics, Philosophy, and
Economics from Oxford University, an Ed.M from Harvard University
in Mind, Brain and Education, and a PhD from Bristol University.
His Doctoral thesis is an inter-disciplinary and multi-method
examination of the concept of wisdom, including a detailed analysis of
the challenge of overcoming the psycho-social constraints that prevent
people becoming 'wiser', similar to what the RSA terms ‘The Social
Aspiration Gap’. A chess Grandmaster, Jonathan was British Champion
for three consecutive years 2004-06. Jonathan now leads the RSA’s
Social Brain project.

steve broome is Director of Research at the RSA, leading our
Connected Communities programme, which includes work on drug
services and recovery, and social network research methods. Steve has
12 years experience of researching community regeneration and
economic development agendas. He specialises in understanding
impact through mixed methods research designs. He previously
worked on a London New Deal for Communities programme, where
he led evaluation and strategy, community safety and community
development programmes.

Alasdair Jones holds a PhD from the London School of Economics.
His thesis explored the ways that public space is produced not only
through design but also through social use and regulation. Prior to
joining the RSA, Alasdair was the London Coordinator for Living
Streets, a charity that seeks to build thriving communities through
improvements to the public realm. Alasdair is now part of the
Transport and Health Group at the London School of Hygiene and
Tropical Medicine.

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