We’re not usually ones for New Year resolutions, but 2020 is gearing up to be an important year for civil society and change-making. So, we’re starting as we mean to go on!
1. Resist the idea that civil society can be ‘too political’
We’ve seen a growing trend for the ‘too political’ to be attached to an increasing number of people over the past year: the courts, local authorities, NHS staff, Stormzy.
As far as we’re concerned, politics is nothing more or less than the huge, messy conversation we all have, every day, about what our world should look like. It’s the lifeblood of any society, and crucial to any democracy. It’s not the exclusive preserve of politicians or the media. As such, we think we have a duty to be political (but not partisan) in pursuit of our mission.
2. Champion a better, broader concept of ‘charity’
As already explored by Andrew Purkis, noises from the Charity Commission indicate an appetite for taking our concept of ‘charity’ back to the 19th century. We will be insisting that, as a charity, our success is not measured by whether we meet public expectations of ‘the spirit of charity’ but how well we pursue our mission. So, 2020 will be all about SMK unlocking ‘civil society’s power to change the world’. Why not join us?
3. Be more magpie
In 2020, we want to nurture and feed our curiosity – about change, how civil society pursues it, and the context in which we all work. We’ll be looking out for interesting new ideas. Capturing new trends. Trying to understand what’s working these days. If you have a nugget you’d like to send us, or a trend you’d like us to explore this year, get in touch!
4. Expand our community
We’re lucky to have a community of change-makers full of passionate, dedicated people. This year, we want to grow into new places and meet new people. Everyone is invited, but we’d love to welcome more people from a wider range of ethnicities, from outside London, working in community organising, with disabilities. If you know someone you think would be interested in joining our conversation, suggest they sign up to our newsletter for alerts about our latest events, training and opportunities. If you have a suggestion about how we can improve our own practice to be more inclusive, let us know.
5. Create more spaces for discussion
Our Change Network has explored some fascinating examples of change this year – the rise of women’s elite team sports, fossil fuel divestment, the Irish abortion referendum. This year, we want to build in more opportunities for discussion and interaction. So please share your ideas about topics, timing or activities we can include in our 2020 programme.