The Social Business

Who was at the Big Society launch?

Big Society was launched yesterday, with the Government’s commitment to it clearly demonstrated by the presence of both Cameron and Clegg.

But who else was there? I’m interested to know, to start to understand more deeply the vision that the Coalition government has for Big Society. It’s a launch, it’s only 20 people, so let’s not get too carried away, but I think it’s still interesting to know who was there.

It seems, at least via Twitter, that the Cabinet Office has either mislaid/isn’t sharing the guest list. That seems contrary to their commitment to open data.

So let’s see if we can piece the guest list together ourselves. If you were there, or if you recognise someone from the photos, please let us know by leaving a comment below.

Update Thursday 11.35 Thanks to Will Perrin, who was at the launch, you can see the seating plan here.

Categories: Social change, Social enterprise, Social entrepreneurs, Social Justice

My pledge on Big Society » « Now the really hard work begins


  1. Hi Rob, The cabinet office admits to inviting the following: Ray Mallon, Martha Lane Fox, Camilla Batmangelidgh, Nat Wei, Rob Owen.
    Will Perrin blogged about being there. We’ve also established that David Robinson, Adele Blakeborough, Neil Jameson were there. And someone that looks a bit like Hilary Cottam of Participle, though I may be mistaken (perhaps I’m just thinking she ought to have been there…)

  2. Thanks Patrick. I’ve just watched a video here – you may recognise a few more people:

    I’m aware this is a slightly daft exercise, but I think it does matter who they invite to a launch. As we all know, launches are about symbolism, so the guest list matters.

    Plenty of good stuff in your Society Daily today btw, good work.

  3. Seems that the guest list itself originated via twitter!
    “It’s not often that you get an invite to attend a meeting with the Prime Minister, and the Deputy Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street. But thanks to a unlikely set of Twitter connections, Alastair Tibbitt, Development Manager for Greener Leith found himself sitting at the cabinet table in Number 10, alongside David Cameron, Nick Clegg, and a host of other voluntary sector agencies discussing the “Big Society”…..

  4. It looks as though Stephen Howard from BitC was there too:

  5. It really doesn’t matter in some ways. Whoever are anointed to shape the vision are destined to create winners and losers.

  6. Thanks for your comments. So we have so far:

    Ray Mallon
    Martha Lane Fox
    Camilla Batmangelidh
    Nat Wei
    Rob Owen
    Stephen Howard
    Alastair Tibbit
    Adele Blakebrough
    David Robinson
    Neil Jameson

    So that’s half of the guests. Anyone know who the other half were?

  7. Some info here on the issue –

    Umbrella bodies weren’t invited.

  8. Rob,

    Here is the full list of people who attended:

    Neil Jameson
    Will Perrin
    Nat Wei
    Frances Maude
    Martha Lane Fox
    Camila Batmanghelidjh
    Geoff Mulgan
    Dawn Austwick
    Ally Tibbett
    Rob Owen
    Paul Twivy
    David Robinson
    Lord Victor Adebowale
    Adele Blakebrough
    Dick Atkinson
    Deputy PM
    Hilary Cottam
    Nick Hurd
    Ray Mallon
    Rolande Anderson
    Stephen Howard

  9. Thanks Steve, that’s great, proof that social media moves faster than Government!

  10. There’s info on who all of the above people work for on the Social Enterprise Live site


  11. No surprise that there were so few elected politicians, I don’t recognise any elected trade unionists which is no surprise.

    This Big Society doesn’t look like a democratic society – does it?

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