The Government should be clear: Big Society is an important part of their growth strategy

Today’s economic figures will be disappointing. People think George Osborne’s plans are all about cuts; where is the growth strategy? Voters don’t understand what David Cameron stands for. The concept of the ‘Big Society’ has gained no traction with Joe Public. These problems are all linked to each other, thus the political solution is to connect them all together.

The fact that the economic recovery is currently sluggish is not surprising. There are no quick fixes. Getting the economy to grow again is a long and complicated job, and Cameron and Osborne have never tried to pretend otherwise. We are not alone in this. As we see on a daily basis, the Euro-zone and USA are still struggling to grapple with the consequences of the 2009 Credit Crunch. One of the problems the Coalition has is in promoting its growth message. Apart from cuts most are not sure what is being done to encourage this magical thing called growth.

The Big Society should be promoted as being a key strand of the government’s attempt to kick-start growth. Fiona Melville and I expanded on this point in a recent article for Ethos Journal.

“The Big Society is about supporting people to innovate to achieve growth in ways that the State could never imagine. Paul Romer, Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, says, “Economic growth occurs whenever people take resources and rearrange them in ways that are more valuable.” But for this to happen, you need people to be free to have ideas, and for them to feel that they have the capacity within themselves, and the support of their peers and their government, to deliver them.

“By opening up the State’s huge resources – of purchasing power, of manpower and venues, of data – the Big Society will offer more opportunities to those innovators to succeed.”

If you want to find out more about why we believe Big Society and open up the States resources can achieve growth you can read the full Ethos article.

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13 Responses to The Government should be clear: Big Society is an important part of their growth strategy

  1. New blogpost: The Government should be clear: Big Society is an important part of their growth strategy #fb

  2. I say the Government should shout loudly that #BigSociety is an important part of their growth strategy

  3. Yes yes and yes.Further to your comments at the Big Society Network we are engaged in a project called Nexters ( which is all about fostering and supporting socially innovative entrepreneurs who use the web and digital comms to deliver new forms of service . Not only is the local progress among these 20 companies, palpable, but some of them are heading to International territories. Our vision is to enable them to become successful in the UK and then help them take it to the world, so we develop a new generation of businesses lead from the UK.

  4. yes and yes ! The Government should be clear: Big Society is an important part of their growth strategy #fb #nexters

  5. @AlbertoNardelli Here’s what I think Big Society should be aggressively promoted as part of the growth agenda

  6. Nick Denys says:

    Hello Ashley. Thank you for your comment. Today’s growth figures are not as important as what is being done to promote growth in the future. I like the work that Nexters do. It’s so important that people with ideas find a support network top help their ideas develop.

  7. Neil McInroy says:

    I agree re #BigSociety and growth. However, the gov’t must tackle economic centralism and the bureaucracy that goes with it

  8. @dom4good Agree. My take is that Big Society should be promoted as an important part of Govs growth strategy

  9. David Ward says:

    Whatever the Big Society is or isn’t, and regardless of its many undoubted it good points. It just isn’t a strategy for growth.

    As Stephanie Flanders set out very neatly on the radio this morning, we either have a supply side problem around the structure of the economy, or we are in a classic Keynesian liquidation trap.

    I just don’t see how the Big Society is going to cure either of these problems. Especially the second, which in my opinion is definitely the short term problem.

  10. As the Govt believes in #bigsociety, it should tap into its innovation to help rescue the economy argues @betapolitics

  11. Nick Denys says:

    Hello David. It comes down to how you believe “growth” happens. for me the quote in the blog about what constitutes economic growth explains why Big Society is important. You have to create the conditions that help people to innovate, and encourage new ideas to be tested.
    Ps, I am not saying that this is the only thing Government should be doing, just that they should link Big Society into their growth strategy.

  12. David Ward says:

    I see your point here, but I can’t help feeling (on today of all days) that this is a long term issue when we have a short term crisis on our hands.

    By all means lets encourage small enterprises and innovation. Over 5/10 years its what we really ought to be doing. But don’t lets kid ourselves they’re going to solve our problems overnight.

  13. David Skelton says:

    An interesting point. Although, there is clearly a shortage of aggregate demand in the economy at the moment, as well as tremendously choppy international circumstance. Any growth strategy has to at least address that. Deficit cutting without a growth strategy was always risking a Keynesian “paradox of thrift.”

    Hopefully, mutuals and employee engagement (including perhaps employee representation at board level) will play a bigger long term role in the private, as well as public sector.

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