Jo Hunter & John Loughton: Power to the People

When Jo Hunter established 64 Million Artists, an organisation that aims to encourage everybody in the UK to discover their creativity, little did she know that in 2020 she would have to dramatically change the way they reached people. The ‘COVID-19 pivot’ has been performed by thousands of third-sector organisations, as they race to get back to serving their communities in such unforeseen circumstances.

In the case of John Loughton, his organisation Scran Academy flipped from training young people in catering skills to becoming a crisis-response catering company, providing more than 100,000 free meals to people across Edinburgh.

Hunter and Loughton join the Book Festival’s Communities Programme Director, Noëlle Cobden, to discuss how they made the necessary changes to support and serve their communities during a global pandemic and what ‘community’ means in a post-COVID-19 world.

Trigger warning: this event contains reference to attempted suicide.

This pre-recorded event is part of Citizen, our long-term creative programme working in partnership with organisations across Edinburgh, offering local people a platform to explore identity, connection, place and everything it means to live in our world right now. Find out more at

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