Q: First up, what is Beer Here? A: A casual meet-up for Londoners who want to meet, discuss and inspire social change in our city.
But what makes Beer Here – which I founded last year – different is that it’s not a networking event, nor a lecture series, but an open environment for like-minded people to meet in unique spaces over a drink – or three. After two incredibly successful evenings, we’ve had a growing demand to host another event, and this time teamed up with the savvy folks at Camden Collective.
Beer Here was designed by the 2013 Year Here Fellows (which launched at Downing Street last March), a graduate social leadership programme. Realizing how fortunate we were to be working in a sector that engaged, challenged, and most of all respected us, we also understood, however, that we’re a minority.There are so many people in London who aspire to promote and push an agenda for social change, in anything from homelessness to educational disadvantage, to aiding our ageing population – but this does not factor into their day jobs. And many graduates breaking into the social sector are faced with unpaid internships and menial tasks. Just because you don’t work in the social sector doesn’t mean you don’t care.
Which is where we come in (or at least try to). After two events in Hoxton and Islington last year, on Wednesday Beer Here will be creating a pop-up market place to display some of Camden’s most innovative, creative and social entrepreneurs. Beer Here is hoping to use this collaboration as a chance to invite the London community to NW1 and experience a vibrant and collaborative evening.We’ll be screening some incredible shorts from England Your England, and international filmmakers Nice & Serious, to spark debates and provide inspiration. There will also be interactive talk from Cythia Shanmugalingam, CEO of Kitchenette London, who’ll be sharing her experience as a social entrepreneur in the burgeoning food start-up scene.
Beer Here is committed to collaborating and promoting local businesses too, and you’ll get the chance to sample goods from Black Sheep Coffee, Christabels, Brookes and Jones bakery, Rootless Garden teas, Our Camden, and clothing from Young Blood. Many of these are also based in Collective 159, the new “creative marketplace” further up the high street.
So come and find me on Wednesday – and let’s have a beer. Naturally.