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24 Mar 2017

Human progress has always been driven but utopian visionaries – 'partly mad’ individuals who dared to think the earth could be round or humans could fly to the moon – crazy stuff.  Scientific progress has its own accumulating dynamic – becoming uncomfortably fast; I’ve always felt more drawn to the artists or social reformers who, of necessity, start from scratch; in particular, I’ve a lifelong fascination with the legend we know as Francis of Assisi.  There are two insights which this extraordinary individual shared 800 years ago – which remain as important today: he had a ‘Buddhist’ conviction of the unity of all natural life – a lyric love of all creatures; and he believed that the issue of wealth and poverty divides humankind: the instruction to his followers was to ‘be with’ the poor.

            Although I avoided it for months – knew I had a responsibility to see I Daniel Blake; watched half of DVD but got upset – saw remainder next day.  The film’s enduring message for me is however, a hopeful one – captured in the triumphant solidarity between Daniel and Katie with her two kids: ‘if you want generosity – look to the person who has nothing’.  I was reminded of linesfrom Ursula le Guin’s ‘The Dispossessed’: “I’m trying to say what I think brotherhood really is.  It begins – it begins in shared pain”.  If we’re prepared to look at the reality of poverty around us (and it’s not easy) there are people out there who tell it the way it is; Ken Loach is a true prophet of our times.



The primary political theme for me just now is not independence - we've got two years to dissect that one; I'm more preoccupied with the slide of the UK into a one party state - a harsh state, stripped of ...Read more

The SENs is the name Senscot gives to our work with Social Enterprise Networks (SENs) - both thematic and geographical. SENs provide members with opportunities for peer support, collective action and market development. The vision is of a growing community of 500 frontline social enterprises across Scotland - connected and energised through a network of Networks.

Visit the new website here

The SENs: Friday 24th March 2017

Senscot joined hundreds of social entrepreneurs and sector stakeholders at the SE Exchange, hosted by Social Enterprise Scotland, on Tuesday at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh. The event kicked off with a speech from Jeane Freeman MSP, who spoke of a “shared mission between government and business with the goal of boosting productivity, competitiveness, employment, fair work and workforce engagement and development. Goals that so many of our social enterprises are already striving towards.”Senscot spoke to a few familiar faces to get a feel for what the Exchange means to Scotland’s SE community and what they hoped to get from the day. See short video comments from a range of social enterprises on our Twitter feed.

With the Scottish Government committed to producing a national strategy to tackle loneliness and isolation, we’re keen they engage with SEN members to learn about existing good practice and approaches to tackling the issue. 60% of SEs currently engage in activities that improve health and wellbeing through social or community activity and 39% of SEs have a particular interest in addressing isolation. If you would like to promote work you do in this area, please get in touch with Mary (Health & Social Enterprise Coordinator).


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