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Radix Big Tent Festival Comes to Bristol in 2022

 

Radix Big Tent – the physical and virtual platform that helps engage the public in political debate – will be bringing its annual festival to Bristol in 2022, in partnership with the Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees.

The two-day event, entitled ‘Transitions’, will take place on the 10th and 11th June. It provides a unique opportunity for politicians, policymakers, businesses, social entrepreneurs, charities and academics – together with the general public – to identify strategies and practical action to deliver city-wide, regional, national and international regeneration and renewal.

The Bristol Big Tent Ideas Festival will comprise an invitation-only Leaders’ Summit on Friday and a public event on the Saturday at a central city venue. It will be looking at how big data, innovation and the changing media can transform public services, creative industries and other sectors; how we can transition to a green economy; and the central role regeneration plays in levelling up and tackling poverty in the UK and world-wide.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “I am delighted that Bristol has been chosen to host the Big Tent Festival in 2022 and to provide the city with an opportunity to foster constructive and inclusive conversations. I share the festival’s recognition of the value of debate and civic discourse and welcome the chance to widen the conversation on the complex challenges we face as a city.

“Tackling poverty, delivering sustainable and affordable housing and rising to the climate and ecological emergencies cannot be done in isolation. We need to work collaboratively across the city to meet these challenges and central to this approach is welcoming a broad cross-section of people to the conversation. I look forward to welcoming the festival to Bristol next year and experiencing the diversity of thought this event encourages.”

This follows the Coventry 2021 Big Tent Ideas Festival, the first live political event held since lockdown, as part of the City of Culture. It attracted national & local leaders including Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, both Labour & Conservative Mayoral Candidates for the West Midlands, Liam Byrne MP and Mayor Andy Street and leading backbenchers Jess Phillips and Layla Moran, as well as local businesses, policymakers, commentators and hundreds of members of the public.

Coventry 2021 Big Tent Ideas Festival focused on four key areas – Green Growth, Healthy Growth, Inclusive Growth and Global Connectivity. The discussions provoked a number of policy ideas, published on the 18th November as the Big Tent Big Ideas report. Ben Rich, Chief Executive of Radix Big Tent, explains that the Festival “exposes us all to new ways of thinking and other people’s priorities and it is from such exposure that new and innovative ideas and solutions emerge.”

Key amongst the 16 ‘Big Ideas’ made at the Festival were:

  • Data be collected on numbers and types of journeys made, to be used to name and shame places and neighbourhoods with the worst polluters.
  • Communities that cut the cost of health or pollution bills be rewarded by having some of the money returned to them to be invested in their town or city, and for the community to have a say in how it is spent.
  • NHS patients be invited to share health data anonymously making them eligible for the world’s most advanced new therapies and, providing millions of pounds worth of free drugs.

Leading blood cancer specialist Professor Charlie Craddock said: “It is our ethical duty to connect patients with these amazing treatments.”

With youth violence a major concern, Tyler Campbell proposed offering secure places for young people to relax and enjoy live music while business mentors helped them with finding jobs, writing CVs and other life skills, modelled on the experience Fridays in Coventry, which Tyler founded.

Ben Rich concludes:

“We are confident that the Bristol Big Tent Ideas Festival will unveil similarly creative and innovative thinking and recommendations for practical action, which can be immediately presented to both the Mayor and national politicians, giving everyone a say in shaping our country’s future.”

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