Josh Littlejohn’s radical idea is worthy of Scottish Enlightment – Vladimir McTavish

In the 18th century, Edinburgh was at the epicentre of radical thought. Ideas born in Scotland’s capital spread around the world and influenced the development of modern civilization as we know it today. People of this city are rightly proud of its role in the Scottish Enlightenment.

Monday, 23rd September 2019, 6:00 am
The Big Sleep Out in Princes Street Gardens in 2017

It is heartening to see this influential role in global thinking is still alive and kicking 300 years later.

A radical, enlightened idea that took root in Edinburgh two years ago is soon to have worldwide reach.

The Big Sleep Out started in 2017 in Princes Street Gardens. Hundreds of people slept out overnight to raise money to combat the problem of homelessness. It was announced last week that the event is to replicated in up to 50 cities around the planet this winter.

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People will be taking part in The Big Sleep Out in parks and streets in Amsterdam, New Delhi, Singapore, Dublin, Madrid, London, Los Angeles and New York City. Organisers hope that the project will raise as much as £40 million to help homeless people.

The Big Sleep Out was the brainchild of Josh Littlejohn, founder of the coffee shop Social Bite, a social enterprise which likewise raises funds to combat homelessness, and which has helped to build a village in North Edinburgh to house people without homes.

Homelessness is a huge issue worldwide. We in Edinburgh should be very proud of our fellow citizen who is taking such radical, enlightened steps to combat this modern-day problem.