The Talking Society is a proactive campaign, bringing together people to discuss important issues which need to be talked over, in order to create a new social trend in our area where people celebrate our commonalities and are also not afraid to discuss issues which affect them.
The Talking Society creates and presents;
A space where positive conversations take place to raise awareness of Pendle’s diverse cultural communities, our history and shared ambitions for the future.
A safe zone where people can discuss commonalities but also address ‘topical and difficult’ questions which impact on attitudes of intolerance, hatred and social division.
A platform from where local people can take local action; creating neighbourhood networks to make a difference.
The ‘Talking Society’ runs across the Pendle Borough, from Brierfield through to Barnoldswick, with over 10 conversations each year in public and neighbourhood settings varying between the ‘Talkaoke’ system and the Talking Lounge.
Over the last few years we have taken the Talking Society to various towns in Pendle and at times partnered with other organisations in order to get people talking to each other. The Talking Society can be adapted to various platforms, venues and audiences and has over the years been used with schools, festivals and larger scale conversations such as the Pendle 2050 events.
We are also creating a space where people can come together more frequently and follow-on from conversations in a public setting. The ‘Talking Lounge’ will be open for Talking Society members at various locations in Pendle. This format involves no microphone or speakers and aims to provide a more comfortable environment for people to talk.
The Talking Lounge involves topics for conversation and that topic is normally kept throughout, unlike the ‘Talkaoke’ where conversation is led by whomever is around the table and can cover several topics. We have in the past partnered with Pendle Council ‘Let’s Talk’ initiative and the Women’s Pilgrimage to Jerusalem group to hold conversations at Victoria Park Pavilion Café.
"It's about talking to each other and building on similarities. Once you build on simalarities you notice the differences less".
Talkaoke - Pop up talk show
The ‘Talkaoke’ table was created by a London based organisation called ‘The People Speak.’ It is a pop up talk show which consists of an illuminated round table with a host sitting in the middle on a swivel chair. Participants sit around the outside and are passed the microphone whenever they want to talk, coming and going as they please.
The pop up talk show has been used both indoors and outdoors throughout Pendle, inviting the public to be part of conversations. At times there are set themes of conversation and guest participants are invited in relation to the theme and the town we are in. It has been effective in bringing people together at times of uncertainty such as the Manchester bombings and the terrorist attacks in New Zealand.
What the ‘Talkaoke’ does best is it puts everybody on the same level during a conversation regardless of profession or social status, during the conversations all people and opinions are welcome and given the same importance. Conversations have involved the Mayor and Mayoress of Pendle, the Leader of the Council, Chief Executive of the Council, librarians, police officers, fire service, community organisations, teachers and students.