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Connecting communities

22 May, 2020

Many of us have been looking to find new ways to stay connected with friends and family while we can’t see them in person, recreating social events such as pub quizzes or afternoon tea and – our most recent discovery – Zoom-based magic shows to celebrate birthdays. 

But one thing that is much harder to do when we are shut in our houses is meet new people with different perspectives to our own. This weekend, however, Britain Connects will be aiming to fill this gap. The idea is simple – connecting strangers up and down the country via video calls to get people talking, aiming to combat loneliness and to bring people together who have different experiences and different views. It’s easy to see how strong, diverse communities are more resilient in times of crisis, yet we generally aren’t that good at social mixing, which makes an importance contribution to resilience. If we only socialise with people like us, how can we help others and recognise different needs and perspectives?

The project comes from  the Behavioural Insights Team, who are working with various newspapers as collaborators in this project. It will also be taking this unique opportunity to explore how this shared experience can connect people across divides, studying the project for a paper later this year. Similarly, Shift is gathering stories of relationship-centred responses to the pandemic through its Relationships Observatory.

There are plenty of new opportunities for learning in a crisis and here at Good Business, we love a bit of citizen science – especially if it involves a cup of tea and a chat!

By Patrick Bapty

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