“Change is in our DNA” Julia Unwin launches Civil Society Futures

Julia Unwin has launched a major new two year review into the future of civil society.

Civil Society Futures is an independent inquiry which has been supported by a group of forward thinking Trusts and Foundations. The Inquiry will be engaging fully with the sector to understand what the role is for civil society, given a massively fast changing external context, and how civil society can be empowered to ensure that society flourishes and the vulnerable are protected.

Julia Unwin sees the strengths of the sector as expertise in dealing with change and the fact the sector flourishes in a fast paced context. She posits three core functions for civil society: to connect vulnerable people together, allowing them strength in shared experience; to convene conversations between the powerful and powerless; and to ensure that people have control over their own lives.

I liked this quote from her recent speech: civil society “springs from solidarity, and from kindness, but from anger and frustration too.” I recognise these qualities in the partners that the Blagrave Trust works with every day.

The inquiry will involve a number of strands: research with people across the country about how things are changing and how they are responding; events in a broad range of communities across England, taking a deep look at what’s happening in each of them; and online debate on the Civil Society Hub.

On here, there’s a chance for anyone to answer key questions, sign up to the email list, and to read different points of view about the future of civil society in England.

The Blagrave Trust is currently talking to partners and stakeholders about how we can support a response based on their experience on the ground, making sure young people’s voices are to the forefront. If you would like a conversation with us or would like us to facilitate one in your town or county, please get in touch.

Tessa Hibbert

24th April 2017