‘A civil society is a public space between the state, the market and the ordinary household, in which people can debate and tackle action’. When we act not for profit nor because the law requires us to, but out of love or anger or creativity or principle, we are civil society. When we bring together our friends or colleagues or neighbours to have fun or to defend our rights or to look after each other, we are civil society. Whether we organise through informal friendship networks, Facebook groups, community events and protests or formal committees, charities, faiths and trade unions; whether we block runways or co-ordinate coffee mornings, sweat round charity runs or make music for fun: when we organise ourselves outside the market and the state, we are all civil society. Civil society includes charities; neighbourhood self-help schemes; international bodies like the UN or the Red Cross; religious-based pressure-groups; human rights campaigns in repressive societies; and non-governmental organisations improving health, education and living-standards in both the developed and developing nations.
What is the role of civil society in cities now and in the future? What is a civil society in cities? Julia Unwin is chair of Civil Society Futures, a two-year national conversation about how English civil society can flourish in a fast-changing world that aims to develop a clear vision for the role of civil society for the next ten years. She explores the future needs and opportunities of civil society in cities.
Chaired by Judith Squires, University of Bristol.
Book online or in person at Watershed Box Office or on Tel: 0117 927 5100 Mon – Fri from 09:00 and Sat & Sun from 10:00.
Events start punctually and, out of consideration to other audience members and speakers, our policy is not to admit or issue refunds to latecomers. Please allow enough time to collect your ticket/s from the box office and make sure to arrive before the advertised start time to take your seat/s. Refunds are only available if an event is cancelled.
We endeavour to hold events in venues that are accessible to all. Watershed’s cinemas and event spaces are all located on the first floor which is accessible via the lift located in the main entrance foyer at Box Office. Once on the first floor there is level access to all areas. The venue has a hearing loop system. If you have specific access concerns it is advisable to contact the venue direct. Wheelchair users and visitors who require an assistant may bring a companion free of charge. Please contact Watershed Box Office (details above) to arrange this.
We sometimes film and photograph events. Please let us know if you do not wish to be filmed or photographed.