Back to basics
By Chris Ogle on April 27th 2022
For those who have been in and around for a good few years you will know that periodically L4G adapts and evolves in line with an ever changing world… This is a good thing as it keeps the organisation relevant to the current time and hopefully provides a framework that meets the needs of a growing number of people.
It seems that we are once again at a “point in time” where things have irreversibly changed. Through the challenges of recent events and through no fault of our own, we can see a number of difficulties ahead, it is indeed a worrying time.
Where it all started
After the initial period of a year (2011) working out what Link4Growth stood for such as, its principles and values, it was clear what Link4Growth was looking to facilitate.
- Enable people to come together to have conversations that people needed, whatever they might be
- Assist people in getting to know other local people, to build their “personal network” presenting a whole host of opportunities… as every connection has value
- Few obstacles to participate with both zero cost, and low cost options as Link4Growth is totally non profit
- Supporting other local organisations and groups with similar aspirations and goals
Roll the clock forward 10+ years and nothing has really changed in the above, except perhaps its relevance. Many would argue things have not improved in this time but perhaps have steadily declined…
Few would argue against the statement “we are entering a period of uncertainty of indeterminate duration”, rising prices, rising inflation, interest rates up, fuel up, gas up and electricity up, how this rolls out across industry, countries and globally we shall have to wait and see, but it appears things might not improve for some time.
What can we do about all this?
Individually we are all likely to feel the pinch in some way or another, and most of these changes are way beyond our control, so what can we do…
Link4Growth’s strapline is “What if we knew you?” … it invites us to meet up with other local people and get to know them. Everyone has value, whether for you directly or for others that you know. Going back a few centuries in villages of 150 people or so, everyone knew everyone else, but each then had a smaller group of “working contacts” where the real knowledge was shared and work done.
With transport costs, energy prices and food costs increasing, maybe we will be forced to retrace back from the globalisation trend of the last decade or two, to a more sustainable, local, community based world purely because the operating environment has changed… again… nothing to do with our desire or choices, but wrapped up in the whole big scheme of things.
It can be easy in good times, to ignore community, when things are going well we can pretty much survive in our own insulated bubble, but when big things happen like ww2, afterwards there was a great deal of solidarity as people worked their way out of the horrors and started to rebuild a different society. They did it together, locally, and although tough, people could gain solace from everyone pulling together and looking out for one another.
Is this what is facing us now?
Few people alive these days remember Food Rationing, 3 Day weeks, periods without electricity, but our parents and grandparents survived all this because of their local community… maybe just as a precaution we ought to build our own resilience, ignite our own local communities once more… after all… this is really something we can all participate in and benefit from.
Note on Communities
Communities are typically thought of as an area where people live very close to each other, however communities are also groups of people with common, shared interests. However if we think of sustainability and continuity (without electricity, transport, communications) the closer people live to each other the better.
Chris is passionate about community and has been involved with Link4Growth and community building since the start in 2012. Chris now devotes most of his time to facilitate connection, collaboration and community in the district of South West Herts as well as supporting the Link4Growth Association.