One of the things I’ve said many times over the years is the need to think about volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity as a way of coping with a rapidly changing world. I’m not going to tell you to stop doing that! With a new Government with such a large majority we now know that after years, things will start moving fast…or at least it will look and feel as if they are. That big majority means acceleration. We’re just still waiting to see what direction it will take. Who knows what version of ‘One Nation Conservatism’ we will actually see?
My role is to lead Macc, developing the organisation so we play a useful role in the life of Manchester. I keep a watch on policy issues, try to be creative in new ways to make more good things happen in the city and speak up on behalf of the local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. I build relationships with a wide range of partners and support our Trustees in ensuring Macc and the rest of the sector makes a real difference in Manchester. In other words I try to get more people doing socially useful stuff.
I’ve been wondering what else we could do to encourage the voices of leaders of charities, voluntary organisations and community groups around Brexit. My impression is that charity sector leaders would certainly want to speak up but are unsure how to go about it in the right way. Is Brexit simply too difficult for us to talk about?
I started writing something shortly after the new Prime Minister has made his first speech on the steps of Downing Street. Another premiership set to be dominated by Brexit. It has paralysed national policy and politics for the last 3 years and it looks like this is set to continue for the foreseeable future...but the phrase which is ringing in my ears from the speech is “the doubters, the doomsters, the gloomsters”. I suspect many politicians would put charities and campaigners in those categories.
Recently I had a very nice letter inviting me to write for a publication (quite high status) and a follow-up phone conversation to explore further. In the course of this, the London-based publisher emphasised that wanting to reach outside their heavily London-focused circle was a big priority for them. Who can guess the next bit of the conversation?
One thing - among many - which has puzzled me about the Brexit debate is the sheer number of people who have focused entirely on trade (transactions): there has been virtually nothing about international co-operation and broader relationships. This has been to such an extent that people are shocked when they hear about things like medical supplies being affected (a moment marked by the closure last week of the London HQ of the European Medicines Agency which is moving to Amsterdam).
Our Sharing Our Wellness conversation is about what keeps you mentally well and helps get through the bad days. I’m going to share something which has been going on for me this year and what helped….
Today is 28th November and I’m in work. That never happens. This is always the first Annual Leave day I book in every year because it's my auntie’s birthday. But this year is different. She passed away over the summer at the age of 102.
About a year ago, I wrote a blog which focused on the development of the Manchester Local Care Organisation. Its subtitle was Episode IV: A New Hope. Now that the LCO is officially launching on 1st April, I’m finding myself wondering what this moment actually means? And which bit of Star Wars is it?
"Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was “Oh no, not again”.
I’m writing this in the final days of 2017 and a list of things which will affect charities, community groups, voluntary organisations and social enterprises even just within Manchester is something you can never actually finish writing (note to self: write more blogs this year) but here are the things which are swishing around in my head as things to think about for 2018.
I'm delighted to share a blog written by Dr Sohail Munshi, reflecting on the response to the events at the MEN Arena this week. (Click here to read Macc's response)
I’ve never written a blog before so this is a first.