SFCIC Blogs

Blogs written by us, on either our site or an external site

10 Useful Questions for those Organising for Mutual Aid during Covid-19.

Window with covid support messages

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.

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Does Participatory Budgeting always require a vote?

Voting at a PB event

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.

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Reframing care for our world as participatory people-led politics

“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.

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Beyond the ballot: How citizens can lead the climate change conversation

West Midlands Mental Health Commission Citizens Jury discuss their findings

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.

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What’s in a name: The thorny definition of ‘social enterprise’.

Woman at a community meeting, holding up a 'Building Vibrant Community' ideas sheet

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.

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Citizens Assemblies, Citizens’ Juries and Climate Change

Fracking Inquiry 2016

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.

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Empowering Pupils through Participatory Budgeting in Schools

PB in Schools image

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.

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Journey into Social Enterprise: Long March or Walking the Talk?

GMSEN mural

Jez Hall of Shared Future and Lynn Sbaih of Give2Gain had the privilege of running a two hour session at the recent Greater Manchester Social Enterprise conference on the ‘Journey of Social Enterprise’. Our purpose was to explore the motivations and reasons why people got into social enterprise, and then, to think more widely about what sustained individuals on their journey.

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