Thursday round-up…Blakebrough, Baroness and blogs

Ok, so what with the pressures of Shine, a swathe of documents to write, and two new programmes starting, things have been a little busy. Also been covering some ground of late: Liverpool, Nottingham, Leeds and so on….all good stuff. Particularly enjoyed the board meeting at EMSSE: great to see the progress the organisation has made under Fergus Brazel, with much assistance from the board; and also enjoyed delivering my measuring social impact session with the cultural social entrepreneurs in Liverpool. What a great bunch they are, and look forward to seeing their progress over the coming months.

Anyway, here’s a long overdue round-up:

Adele Blakebrough, CEO of CAN, is stepping aside to spend more time with her family (whilst retaining an involvement in their Breakthough investment fund). CAN and SSE started at a similar juncture around 10 or 11 years ago, and have worked together on direct delivery of support, on the founding of UnLtd and, more recently, on promoting the policy agenda for social entrepreneurs. Adele is a unique, engaging and inspiring presence in the sector, and that energy and passion will be sorely missed. She’ll be welcome as an expert witness here anytime ;0)

– At the recent Good Deals conference, a couple of things stood out for me: the first was the social enterprise ambassadors launching their first campaign, called More For Your Money, about the added value the movement brings; the second was a typically rabble-rousing effort by (ambassador) Nigel Kershaw about the need for incentives to attract investment (interestingly mentioning that 3 of the 1706 CICs have received inward investment of this type)

– OTS is investing about £350,000 on developing a standard for measuring SROI; it’s a thorny, complex area, but if (even limited) consensus can be achieved, the benefits could be substantial….watch and wait.

– At a recent ACEVO conference, Baroness Glenys Thornton (formerly chair of Social Enterprise Coalition), mentioned her beginnings in this world, which is relevant to us / our founder:

"I was very fortunate when I was a young woman to work for one of the
20th century’s social entrepreneurs – Michael Young. He’s a person who
gave birth to many of the great ideas we take for granted today, like
the Open University and the School for Social Entrepreneurs. The thing
he taught me was that you mustn’t be afraid of coming up with ideas and
testing it to see if it works. He was always prepared for ideas not to

From what I know from those who worked with him, that certainly rings true.

– And on that note of ideas not working, here’s a cheery little piece called the Six Signs of NonProfit Decline., which includes both the obvious ("1. Loss of all or a significant portion of support from a key funding source") and the less obvious ("3. Sudden and dramatic expansion of services"). Interesting to note, and put alongside your organisation, or those in your sector….

– And finally, for those who missed my session at Shine (where were you?), here’s my How and Why to blog set of slides….feel free to use (with credit!):

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One thought on “Thursday round-up…Blakebrough, Baroness and blogs

  1. Nick,
    There is something missing from your slide presentation. I can’t quite put my finger on it ….. oh yes, it needs to be projected onto a brick wall with peeling paint 🙂
    BTW I also love the cartoons 🙂