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On 28 January 2015 - 5:05pm

girls-380617_640The word to ‘converse’ has morphed to mean using words or talking.

But what it meant at inception was to “turn towards one another.”

First, it was designed to delve more deeply into a truth of some sort.  To learn more, explore, care.  It was also to find commonalities amongst people.

Yet even more importantly, it means we turn to one another with our full attention. With care, with sincere interest, even a “them-only” focus.  To converse, then, is actually one of the greatest signs of respect we can provide someone.

Who will you “turn towards” today?


Posted By Addictions UK
On 28 January 2015 - 9:00am

This week's video ...more

On 27 January 2015 - 5:44pm

children-602967_640In the 1890s, people didn’t live very long. The average age from the late 1880s was, in fact, in the 40s.  So orphanages became a way for these young children whose parents died to have a home.  Currently there are 143 million orphans across the world.

We normally think of orphanages as a forlorn location, and perhaps an evil place.  Especially in developing nations, it can be the case. But it’s not necessarily true.  Richard McKenzie, quoted in a New York Times article, grew up in an orphanage which gave ...more

On 27 January 2015 - 12:17pm

Social investment finance intermediaries, often known by the acronym, SIFIs, don’t generally enjoy a positive reputation among UK charities and social enterprises. As with MPs, many of us like and respect SIFIs and their employees individually but the emerging industry is not popular.

That’s mainly because, since social investment hit us (in a big way) in 2012, there’s at least been a perception that the government (in particular) has put loads of money into subsidising the process of and support for social investment, while not spending enough making social investment affordable or useful for charities and social enterprises.

As someone who talks to and works with lots of people in the intermediary business, I’m yet to meet one I’ve disliked or felt was in it for the money but genuine intentions are not the same thing as delivering value.

Never one to play to the gallery, Clearly So boss, Rod Schwartz ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 27 January 2015 - 10:47am

There was an interesting story in the Sunday Times about plans to close Calderstones Hospital, the biggest of the NHS institutions for people with learning disabilities and autism. It’s not surprising that Calderstones, as one of the largest and having had a very bad CQC report, should be the first.
One of the things that struck me in doing my Reportin November was the strange reluctance of the ‘system’ to talk closures. They preferred the 1984-esque ‘bed reductions’. But this is to ignore the lessons of history.
When we closed the old mental asylums this was done as part of a clear closure programme. Politically it was agreed that institutions ...more

Posted By Changemakers blogs
On 27 January 2015 - 8:41am

Ashoka Changemakers and Arthur Guinness Projects thank all who entered the Makers of More challenge for sharing their ideas for creating strong communities with more opportunities! 

An astounding number of entries were received from around the world – more than 300– and we’re proud to announce that 40 Semi-Finalists have been selected. They will go on to the next round of judging and remain eligible to win a grand prize of €30,000. Two additional runners-up will win €10,000 each. 

read more ...more

Posted By Social Edge
On 27 January 2015 - 6:08am

Snow-covered mountains, celebrities, and long lines in the streets of Park City can only mean one thing: the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

The Skoll-Sundance partnership is a natural one. The Skoll Foundation has a long history of storytelling about entrepreneurial solutions to some of the world’s thorniest problems. Sundance has a long history of cultivating a cutting-edge community of filmmakers unafraid to tackle complicated issues. The Stories of Change program, a Skoll-Sundance collaboration, is often regarded as one of the Foundation’s most successful initiatives.

As Skoll Foundation President and CEO Sally Osberg put it, “Sundance Institute, led by Robert Redford, is a leading voice for independent storytelling whose community of world- ...more

On 26 January 2015 - 5:00pm

children-playing-329234_640“Friends” and “Sex and the City” – have been eclipsed by novels about young women abandoning the bright lights and fast track for simpler lives, smaller towns, and more homespun fellas. Even daydreams, this seems to show, can be downsized.”

– John Yemma, Editor of the Christian Science Monitor

Should you downsize your dreams?

At first, this might sound deflating.  A big sigh goes out of you as you think of all the big goals you pursue, perhaps to no avail!

Yet what are our dreams? They are hope for happiness.

Happiness, however, is not always in the big ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 26 January 2015 - 10:15am

A great AGM last week. And a decisive debate at our Parliamentary Reception. It was my departing Chair's last speech to ACEVO's annual meeting. A feisty and robust defence of our right and duty to speak truth to power. Indeed Hilary Benn MP, Shadow Communities Minister, said in his speech how ironic it is that we all pledge "Je suis Charlie" despite the fact we have a government who introduced the disgraceful "Lobbying Act" which tries to stifle our right as charities to campaign .
In my speech I said how proud I had been to support the vigorous campaign to oppose the Act and how we must continue to campaign. "Keep calm and carry on campaigning" is the rule we must follow. 
I also warned against conceding ground to the enemy and fighting battles on their terms. We must avoid the transparency trap – that we have to reveal all, and certainly more than any other sector of society. I said that was why we must reject the idea in the current NCVO consultation that, as CEOs, we ...more