Happy New Year all readers, followers, subscribers, SSE Fellows. It feels here at SSE that we haven't so much hit the ground running as landed with a thump on a treadmill at full pelt. Our social franchising programme enters its second block, our new specialist programme for right-to-request leaders starts in January, there's a new evaluation report on the way, and our main core London programmes graduate….as well as recruiting for the next cohorts! And the story is similar across the network: delivery, delivery, delivery.
So, sadly, little time to write a comprehensive post of what to expect in 2011, which will also be my (*gasps*) 6th year at SSE (hence the graph about experience above….). So with little time and cheating slightly, I'm going to point you to the Guardian's round-up of "What's going to be big for social enterprise in 2011?" which features my own contribution, but delightfully also that of current SSE student David Floyd, and esteemed SSE Fellows Paul Hodgkin and Jobeda Ali. You simply couldn't wish for better advice and thoughts to prepare you for the year ahead….
My brief bit reads as follows:
"2011 is going to be a tough one for many because of the combination of spending cuts, unemployment, and lingering economic depression, and it will be no different for social enterprise. There will be opportunities that come from delivering the big society vision and making it tangible, and the challenge will be to remain resilient and to be, if not an optimist then at least a 'possibilist'.
For all social entrepreneurs, the recipe for the year is QED: Q for quality, as organisations must prove their impact and improve their performance; E for enterprise, as earning income and seizing opportunities becomes crucial (the phrase "get over it, you're in sales" could be useful here); and D for delivery, because rhetoric and hyperbole aren't the cornerstones of a sustainable business with a credible track record.
So keep the antennae up, the radar on and the networks live: there are opportunities out there, and your best bet for 2011 is among them"
As a couple of the contributors to the article pointed out, the key will be deciding what is a real opportunity and what is a 'poisoned chalice' being offloaded onto an unsuspecting, well-meaning individual or organisation….we'll see what the landscape looks like at the end of the year, and who's made the right decisions in the short-term in order to keep fulfilling their mission in the long-term.