During March LDP project Tipping Points and their partners Northern Heartlands have been holding a virtual conversation between farmers, conservationists, researchers and artists. Prompted by the idea of meeting in the messy middle, and a desire to promote discussion that was the opposite of the arguments and pile-ons that so often fill social media, Love and Soil has been a space to be thoughtful, connect and find shared meanings.
Open by registration on a password protected website the Love and Soil conversation has provided a troll free space where participants are actively sharing opinions in a positive way, engaging in discussion and developing understanding about, and respect for each other.
Love and Soil began with writer Amy-Jane Beer’s plea for farmers and environmentalists to ‘hold hands’ a bit more and bring together people who recognise that we are all on the same side.
The conversation will come to a close on 28th March, but that won’t be the end of Love and Soil – after the conversation closes the Tipping Points team will work with a film producer to curate a thirty-minute film of the ‘slow conversation’, giving a flavour of the discussion that will be available to view online so that a wider audience can get involved, opening up further opportunities for discussion.
In this era of polarisation when it feels even more important to find more positive ways to connect with each other digitally, the Tipping Points team and Northern Heartlands hope that the ‘Slow Conversation’ has provided that opportunity.