More on Civil Society Forum – launch and planning event #2

More on the Civil Society Forum (CSF) launch from Founders and Supporters…
– Aidan Ward, CSF Co-Founder: I felt that there was serious commitment in the room, a valid response to John Carlisle’s description of the current challenge as a “perfect storm”. The issue is not to provide answers, of which we have too many already, but to respond to the times from a particular perspective. The last thing we need is to mend the holes in the road.
The thing that is thrown into the sharpest focus by both the launch and by daily events is that the way the government spends money on services is wrong. This is focused around the notion of commissioning. Public money is used to shore up political power and to silence those at the sharp end who know what services are really needed and how little really needs to be spent to deliver them. We are in dire need of the perfect storm to sweep some of this away.
People in the room last week, in their different domains, locations, ways know that we are failing the most vulnerable in our society and that this situation may get much worse. It is not a matter of resources, it is a matter of political will and how the system works.

– John Morgan, who did so much to support Esther Ridsdale convene and organise the event:

Some points amongst the founders’ speeches especially resonated for me:

Lucian Hudson, CSF Co-Founder:
“Reflection (as an aid) to move a few steps forwards.”

Of stepping into other’s shoes: “-empathy, not sympathy.”

“We are unable to control the outcomes in volatile environments, so we need to act consistently to a set of principles.”


And paraphrasing his shaping piece at the launch and planning event on Wednesday, “The core of collaboration is getting early broad input from stakeholders, including the Founders.”

John Carlisle, CSF Co-Founder:

Visualising civil society organisations along a continuum between Illusion and Pragmatism:

-“Illusion is dreaming; and Pragmatism is doing what you did before.” -and “It is this clarity of organisational Identity that attracts the Resources.”

Gently disagreeing with Lucian: “None of these collaborations has been (wholly) a Lose-Lose situation.”

Observed that “-the participants are mainly (already have) multi-organisation experience.”

“We need to act to change the nature of both the System; and the Rewards that determine behaviours.”

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