Moving From The Reactive To The Pre-Emptive


As Matthew Manos has written, many of us in the social sector are employed in the expectation that the things that go wrong will always go wrong.  Indeed, our work often profits from past societal failure rather than the contemplation of the signals of failures that have yet to exist. The entire premise relies on … Continue reading Moving From The Reactive To The Pre-Emptive

The Problem With Seeing People As Vulnerable


Never mistake your Twitter feed for your country — Nick Cohen (@NickCohen4) December 12, 2019 Now, more than ever, it’s easier to exist within a bubble. We spend a lot more time communicating through screens than talking face to face. Our digital social networks are powered by algorithms designed to feed us information confirming what … Continue reading The Problem With Seeing People As Vulnerable

How To Keep Focussed (And Remain Sane) In A World Of Complex Problems


In our heart, we know the solution does not lie in reforming silo by silo but in organizing our silos the way people organize their lives, so that the neighbourhood becomes our primary unit of analysis and change – Cormac Russell I’ve spent two days this week with both the Connected Places Catapult in London … Continue reading How To Keep Focussed (And Remain Sane) In A World Of Complex Problems

If We Don’t Develop Different Relationships, We’ll Lose Our Legitimacy


If we do not respond to people and communities’ desire for power, we will lose our legitimacy and waste the potential of the many ways they can have agency over what matters to them. If we do not continually, bravely work to build trust, we will lose the essential foundation for everything we do. – Civil … Continue reading If We Don’t Develop Different Relationships, We’ll Lose Our Legitimacy

Why Do We Have Such A Problem With Poor People?


It’s an uncomfortable truth that many of us working in the social sector share exactly the same prejudices about poor people as everybody else. Recognising this is the first step to tackling any stigma  I was recently asked to write a piece on the stigma of social housing. (TLDR: I maintain that the ‘stigma’ is not … Continue reading Why Do We Have Such A Problem With Poor People?

Communities Need A Different Model – And That Might Not Include Us


Last week I was in Sulawesi, Indonesia, a place none of my family had ever heard of – until a devastating quake and tsunami hit Palu, at which point my phone sprang to life with loads of messages checking that I was still alive. Actually, we were 300 miles away at that point, and in … Continue reading Communities Need A Different Model – And That Might Not Include Us