There are two viruses affecting our world. The Covid19 pandemic and racism. One natural, one manmade. Both affecting some more than others. People centred approaches are at the heart of building back better. Public bodies can support and enable resilient communities and tackle social injustice by putting public money at the disposal of citizens; to better serve their needs, and to rebuild trust in our government and between people.
We’re excited to see the birth of numerous new community led mutual aid groups eager to help their neighbours. Every neighbourhood has tremendous people with untapped skills and experience.
When we join together we are a vital lifeline for those who are bearing the brunt of Covid-19; whether for those physically distancing themselves or those who might not have access to the support they need in this crisis.
Getting and keeping people together is however sometimes easier said than done. At Shared Future our long experience of community development and community organising suggests that there are certain things to be thinking about when undertaking a much-needed community-led response.
Following public health guidance, we, like many companies, have been changing how we work. All face to face meetings have been cancelled, and we are switching to online meetings. We continue to operate and intend to continue to do so.
Our staff and associates are being supported to work from home (as we all already do), and we are responding to emails, phone calls and other contact as normal. As an organisation used to working remotely we are putting our resources and skills to serve other organisations and individuals however and wherever we can.
The safety and wellbeing of vulnerable people is our priority.
It’s the season to be celebrating with our friends, neighbours and families. As we wrap up another year ( and it’s the 10th Christmas since we formed Shared Future CIC) we have been reflecting on what has changed, and why the idea of a shared future remains close to our heart. Together we are stronger.
There is a very real desire to make Participatory Budgeting more deliberative and thoughtful. One of the concerns about voting is that it doesn’t force people to think through the options. That PB needs more deliberation. Nevertheless Jez Hall of PB Partners/Shared Future CIC argues that the vote is crucial for legitimacy and trust within a PB processes.
“The natural world is being destroyed and it is a moral imperative to preserve and reconstitute as much of it as possible as soon as possible.” In this blog Jez Hall discusses how re-framing the debate on climate change is about how we build a fairer, greener, and political ‘shared future’. One where dialogue, social action and a people powered democracy is our new normal.
Over recent months, as climate change has been propelled into the political mainstream, there has been an upsurge in interest in the role of deliberative processes such as Citizens’ Assemblies and Citizens’ Juries, too. An Assembly is a key demand of Extinction Rebellion, for example. Will politicians act or just nod? In this blog Pete Bryant and Rebecca Willis consider how getting the conditions right makes action more likely.
Participatory Budgeting(PB) enables people to make their community better, starting with issues that concern us all. The biggest concern we face as a society is climate change. In this new blog Shared Future CIC’s Alan Budge connects PB and climate change.
In a recent meeting with colleagues representing different sides of the perennial social enterprise definition debate, we again stumbled, or struggled to agree. There is of course some official definitions, but everyone still seems to feel we need to broaden or narrow it. It sometimes feels like we are a lot of navel gazers dancing on the head of a pin! Which sounds difficult and dangerous.
Citizens Assemblies have gone mainstream, no longer are they the preserve of democracy geeks. The potential of ‘mini publics‘ in bringing together a diverse group of citizens to deliberate, reach consensus and deliver a mandate for action to their local and national politicians is fascinating. Especially, when we consider the complex nature of so many problems that our elected officials must grapple with, from Brexit to artificial intelligence to climate change. Peter Bryant tells us more in his new blog.
Schools play a central role in developing the life-skills and confidence of young people. Participatory budgeting (PB) is a proven deliberative process that can inspire, empower and engage young people in a cooperative, democratic and purposeful way. Bringing the two together has many positive benefits for schools, for society and for young people.