Thank you so much for joining us in London and Halifax for Restitch: The Social Fabric Summit at the end of May. We were delighted to have brought together such a wide ranging group to Church House in London and to the Piece Hall in Halifax.
More than 500 people joined in person over the two days, including community leaders, bankers, thinkers, developers, politicians, entrepreneurs, and school children, with 1,500 people tuning in online over both days (and many more in between and after). In fact, so many of you flocked to the Piece Hall in Halifax that some were sitting cross-legged in the aisles!
Outside our main sessions we showcased the work of 16 inspiring “Restitchers”, the beautiful architecture of historic Westminster and the Piece Hall, and the vibrancy of community in Calder Valley. Guests in Halifax were even greeted by the Hammonds Brass Band, one of the original brass bands dating back to 1855.
A word from Nicholas Boys Smith and Will Tanner:
When we first sat down to discuss what became Restitch, we knew that we wanted to bring together leading thinkers, politicians and experienced community-driven practitioners to explore how to restitch our social fabric post pandemic. We hope, with your help, we achieved that.
We firmly believe that social fabric matters. The places we inhabit, the people we share them with, the institutions and networks that foster shared norms and values between us all – these are the building blocks of healthy democracies and prosperous economies. These formed the themes of Restitch: Place, Work, Community and Identity.
We hope that Restitch left with you a deeper understanding of the issues facing our society and communities, and a desire to reconnect with those around you. Above all, we hope that Restitch inspired a sense of hope for you, your community and the future of our social fabric.
If you want to reminisce, or catch up on sessions you missed, you can find all of the speeches, panels and breakouts on the Sessions page of the Restitch website. Please share with anyone you think would enjoy it.
Highlights include Michael Sandel on what is tearing society apart, Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP delivering a political keynote on his vision for healthy communities and Andy Haldane and Helen Thompson on how we can build community capitalism in the 21st century.
Photos and short videos from both days can be found here.
The event was ambitious, and we hope it had an impact on those who came, sending them home with renewed vigour, hope and enthusiasm for the future of our social fabric.
What our attendees were saying about the Summit…
“Bravo on this week’s masterpiece event!”
“I was honoured to be part of this great project. Magical choice of venue… I go back to Cornwall with even more determination to ensure our great community in Nansledan goes from strength to strength.”
“I didn’t know that Restitch was a “thing”…now I do”
“It was like MPIM, the commercial property fayre meets the Hay-on-Wye literary festival”
“A free Glastonbury for West Yorkshire-based politicos”
These comments are a reflection of the quality of insight and debate that our speakers, delegates and sponsors so kindly and expertly brought to the event. If you would like to add your own comments you can do so here on our feedback form.
Please can we leave you with a (friendly) challenge and a promise?
- The challenge: what actions can you take to restitch your neighbourhood or professional, personal or local community? Please do let us know by sharing on social media under the #RestitchAction hashtag. We will also publish an update on this in about six months.
- The promise: as we collectively and individually develop this agenda and our publications and research in this area, we will be running another summit in about 18 months. This may be the start of something…
And finally, a huge thank you to our sponsors, without whom it would not have been possible.