It has been a busy start to the year, and it seems like that is the case for everyone. Certainly everyone I bump into seems to be working very hard indeed, as the end of March 2011 looms large….No different here at SSE (lots of work across the network, graduations, launches, new programmes and more). Which is partly by way of explanation for why blogging has been a bit infrequent (many thanks to current intern Ryan for filling in), and why this is the first round-up for a couple of months. Anyway, here are the most interesting and (hopefully) relevant links from the last month or so: Continue reading
Social Investment Business have done an interesting powerpoint which shares the views of various sector leaders' wishes for 2011. Including (Sir) Stephen Bubb, Matthew Taylor from RSA, Rod Schwartz from ClearlySo, Julie McEver from Local Partnerships…and more. Including, first up, our own CEO Alastair Wilson….enjoy.
[You might also be interested in Third Sector's Austerity Panel's advice for the year ahead.]
The benefits of having lost the argument over who should have the long commute with my wife is that I have plenty of time to catch up on podcasts and a bit of work-related listening on the way in (and back). Though the journey itself is routine, it also provides a chance to listen to things that are outside the normal sphere of work stuff, and stretch the brain a bit.
At the moment, there's a few programmes I'd heartily recommend:
1) Guardian Charity Effectiveness Podcast: this time on What makes a good leader? and withan excellent line-up including Debra Allcock-Tyler from DSC and James Partridge from Changing Faces (who is one of the most admired leaders here at SSE). And a bit of SSE representation from SSE Fellow Debbie Ariyo from AFRUCA, phoning in on the lack of diversity in leadership in the sector. All produced by another SSE Fellow Jude Habib's organisation SoundDelivery. Plenty of nuggets here on leadership, challenges ahead in 2011, and keeping focus whilst retaining a long-term view.
2) Peter Day on Not for Profits: Peter Day is a genius, as far as I'm concerned, and have often mentioned his great podcasts about the world of business here before. This episode includes his recent appearance at the Good Deals conference a few weeks back, and looks at the recurring issue of scale. Does the non-profit sector need to become more like the market? Challenging and valuable listening.
3) More Or Less: There are, of course, geeks in the sector, many of whom are operating in the evaluation field (I was delighted to learn on a recent visit to New Philanthropy Capital that they had a feedback form after their Xmas party: that's devotion to the evaluative cause right there…). My own inner geek loves More Or Less, which is all about looking at the numbers behind the stories: this week it looked at the issue of student debt, and how much people would actually pay. The sanest, most reasoned take on that issue heard all month.
4) An interview with Matthew Taylor: Podcasting in the sector is rare, so also been enjoying this recent initiative from Social Investment Business; Matthew Taylor, Chief Exec of the RSA is a really interesting thinker on a lot of big current issues: Big Society, civil society, engagement + membership, citizen-centred social action, the power of networks and more. Very much worth 10 minutes of your time
One of the features at the residential last week was the appearance of expert witnesses speaking on particular topics (strategic planning, partnerships, inequality etc). We thought it would be useful to share these on the blog both for those students (and Fellows) who couldn't be there, and to a wider audience that might be interested.
The set of slides below are by SSE Chair Charlotte Young, who was speaking on inequality and its impact. This gives an overview of the state of the UK, possible reasons for that current situation, and some thoughts about approaches and interventions that might help tackle it.
– Not officially September, but as I'm late, two events from early October worth following up on were SoCap 10 and SBC10. Check out the tweets (#socap10 #sbc10) and videos etc online if you couldn't be there like me.
– Stats + definitions: a generation hangs their head as the debate continues…. new research questioned how many social enterprises there are, which also prompted a call for clarity of definitions
– More forward- (and outward-) looking was Pamela Hartigan's interview on Dowser.org explaining why you don't have to be a social entrepreneur to make change, but it's good to know what they are…
– I'm pretty much in whole-hearted agreement with many of Malcolm Gladwell's points in this New Yorker piece on the limitations of Twitter + Facebook in creating change
– Global social entrepreneurs were excited by the Unreasonable Institute and Echoing Green applications opening. SSE is a pipeline partner to Unreasonable, so we're looking forward to seeing who they get on board this year; hopefully some SSE Fellows will be encouraged to apply
– Suffolk was the county on everyone's lips as they announced their intention to outsource "virtually all" services to social enterprise….
– …while Suffolk councillor (and social entrepreneur) Craig Dearden-Phillips wrote openly about the need (and lack?) of financial incentives for social entrepreneurs
– Big Society-wise, I have mostly been enjoying Karl Wilding (NCVO)'s neat overview presentation, Paul Hodgkin (SSE Fellow / Patient Opinion)'s article on importance of conversation + technology, and Radio 4's Analysis programme on Big Society (hat-tip to SSE colleague Ian Baker for the latter)
– Jonathan Jenkins (from UnLtd Ventures / Advantage) is as good as anyone on social investment, and this article on the need for angel investment brings out some of the key points, and the key current problems, of this emerging market
– David Robinson, one of the most quietly effective leaders in the social sector, writes about (and welcomes) the first pilot Social Impact Bond
– Social Entrepreneurs Ireland held their latest awards event, which I heard was fantastic: round-up and article on the event here
– Rod Schwartz got a good debate going about mergers, partnerships and egos in social enterprise
– Paul Light is a US professor who's been beavering away at social entrepreneurship for many years; he knows his stuff, as this Just Means interview makes clear
– The Social Enterprise Ambassadors programme had its closing event: details and photos on the website
– Tim Harford, who I'm a fan of on More or Less, has written a couple of interesting critiques of 'nudge' theory (behavioural economics stuff); see Nudges are for Markets, not Nations and To Nudge is One Thing, To Nanny Another
– And finally, because everyone loves a list, Inc.Com's 10 tips for managing a one-person sales force (a concept familiar to many of our students…) and this great post of 15 excuses for not making ideas happen.
Presumably no. 16 is writing a blog post to delay other work. On which note, over and out.