Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"we're bigger than Jesus..." John Lennon famoulsy said in 1980 - implying that the church's role in society was waning and it was the new rock and roll that was the bigger influence in peoples' lives.

But accordingy to recent reports, could charity now be becomming 'bigger than Jesus' as well? Recent surveys highlight that charities are more influencial than the church in shaping our values and the Pope has also indicated publicly that its charities that will be our salvation (from the curent economic crisis) and so our sector leaders are courting his blessing on us...

Are we the new Beatles?

or should we be concerned that as a society our values are eroding and being placed increasing on transient fashions?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

why we shouldn't listen to the experts at the Financial Times...

so the FT thinks, in its wisdom, that social enterprises should conform more to the accepted norms of the private sector in order to be able to elicit more support (money) from the established order (see SE Livewire story here)

Well - maybe I'm missing something here, but isn't it because of the 'established order' and traditional private sector that we've had recessions, are driven by profit margins rather than balancing compassion with costs, and generally see the rise in societal inequality?

I think it should be US that's talking to the FT and its consitiency to show them that its their structures that are flawed and don't make sense - after all, on what basis should people who are already wealthy be able to invest money in companies and then sit back, do nothing, and become even more wealthy while those lower down the food chain struggle to make ends meet on a weekly, or even daily, basis?

Maybe the time for revolution is drawing ever closer... or maybe its just time for me to get down from my soapbox.

and this also links back to a published article I wrote a little while back that questions the need for our sector to rely on financig by external bodies when we've such a good track record of doing it for ourselves - link here

Friday, November 13, 2009

all social accounts are a fiction... said Steve Wyler, CEO of the Development Trusts Association in the opening address of this years' Social Audit Network conference.

And you know what - I think I agree with his argument: the relationships between what we do and the effects we claim to create can be 'hazy' at best, and the metrics and systems we create to quantify these are also currently relatively limited and varied; so, technically speaking, social accounts include a greater or lesser degree of 'made up' narrative of how we see we've impacted the world for the better. BUT what they do offer us, and the true value of them, are the stories they allow us to tell - and stories, as Steve reminded us all, are the most powerful tool we have to create social change.

The conference was also useful as it gave platform to the Social Return on Investment model (which I'd always been wary of), but was encouraged to hear from the SROI project that its not meant to be taken as an absolute financial value in abstract than can be used in like-for-like comparisons, but rather that its true value is in allowing an organisation to allow the people its benefitted to identify and prioritise what they see as being the ways in which that organisation has improved their lives, and what they see the value of that being to them - a true grass roots / bottom-up approach rather than a mandated top-down policy initaitive...
All in all, a good day to reflect, to be challenged, and to make new friends...
( - but that's a blog entry for another day...)

Monday, November 2, 2009

when is social enterprise like a toilet?

...when Social Enterprise Day (19 Nov 2009) is the same day as World Toilet Day

How could no-one have spotted this before?

(insert your own punchlines...)