The future of Good Society

Carnegie report launch

Making Good Society (the final report of the Carnegie Trust’s Commission of Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society) thinks about the role of civil society moving forward. They focus on four key areas that they think civil society can play a key role in developing for a ‘better’ society. Their report positions itself almost as a manifesto – their aspirations for the future. To what extent do you think civil society can take up their challenges and turn them into reality?

I was particularly interested in one of the four areas, Growing a civil economy, which they explain as aiming to:

reshape the financial system to align it better with values that emphasise responsibility, good governance, human well-being and environment sustainability.

With my Foresight website management hat on, I scented a possible new driver impacting on the sector. But once I started thinking about it, I was torn between whether it is an existing force that VCOs (voluntary and community organisations) will have to respond to, or more of a hoped for trend.

The Carnegie report’s civil economy is based on values that should resonate with all civil society organisations. Now is the moment to rebuild the economy, in a different mould. Capitalising (which is perhaps the wrong word to use whilst talking about reshaping economies) on what many see as the proven failure of the current system.

This is a theme that has been increasingly poking its head about the parapet following the recession and ongoing financial irritation. NEF have been advocating it, with their ‘triple crunch’ work: This focuses on the ‘interlinked crises’ of credit, energy and climate issues. We recently ran a session with Nic Marks (head of NEF’s wellbeing centre) on the future of wellbeing. Is there space for this to replace financial values as the keystone to social success?

Linked to this stance for reviewing the financial systems, are new ways of funding and running the economy of organisations. Have a look at our social enterprise driver for more on this trend, as well as Katherine’s thoughts on whether the recession has driven a re-evaluation of materialistic values.

A new 'owning'

People are increasingly taking more on themselves as a way of sidestepping the traditional bank loanership role. Take a look at, for example, the Youth Funding Network. Inspired by the Funding Network, it runs events bringing together young(er) people who run charities and enterprises with other young(er) people who pledge their ticket price to one of the organisations.

Is this the funding of the future good society?

Last updated at 18:09 Mon 12/Apr/10.
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How will this affect your organisation? Have you considered it during your strategic planning? Can you share any interesting relevant links?

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