Category: Social Innovation

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 ...

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 ...

The Problem With Professionals

Social progress is about the expansion of freedom, not the growth of services – Cormac Russell Our digital networks, Twitter, in particular, are unparalleled listening tools. I follow thousands of accounts, many organised into lists so I can get a sense of what’s going on in innovation, technology, health, housing – and the social sector generally. ...

Reshaping Organisations Around What’s Strong – Not What’s Wrong

“ECONOMICS ARE THE METHOD: THE OBJECT IS TO CHANGE THE SOUL” This (pretty chilling) quote comes from Margaret Thatcher in 1981 – and ushered in an era that promoted the belief that social progress is achieved through the accumulation of wealth or status. Earn more, consume more, and you’ll be happy.  The legacy of this is ...

How To Design For Better Outcomes

Our job is to the mind the gap between the bureaucracy of our systems and the opportunities in our communities – Cormac Russell Sometimes it’s preferable to pull the plug on a service before you see it collapse in front of your eyes. A recent report says we are trapped in a reactive spending cycle on public ...

How Not To Solve The Health, Housing and Care Crisis

Crisis (noun) ‘a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger’. ‘a time when a difficult or important decision must be made.’ The housing crisis can no longer be ignored. Neither it appears can the crisis in health. And nor can the social care, or ageing crisis. Our repeated use of the word crisis is telling and ...

How Much Good Does Your Organisation Really Achieve?

We don’t usually think of achievements in terms of what would have happened otherwise, but we should. What matters is not who does good but whether good is done.” ― William MacAskill, Doing Good Better We all love an uplifting story of a simple innovation that solves a tricky social problem. Anyone who’s been to ...

How Do We Know Our Organisations Are Really Succeeding?

Every day, organisations promise to make the world a better place. How do we know they are really succeeding? The National Health Service we are told is the world’s best healthcare system.  Yet the NHS has a poor record on one fairly important indicator – actually keeping people alive. We often hear that housing associations prevent homelessness , but ...

Is Your Organisation Making The Impossible Possible?

2016 was the year the social media bubble burst. The year we woke up to the fact that – despite what Twitter and Facebook tell us – a lot of people think exactly the opposite to what we do. It was us, not them, who were in a bubble. I spent New Year travelling – ...

Moving Away From The Reactive Organisation

Our job is to the mind the gap between the bureaucracy of our systems and the opportunities in our communities – Cormac Russell The first step is realisation. Accepting that most of us in the social sector are employed because of failure. As Matthew Manos has written – it’s a field of business that profits ...