Dear members and friends,
Monday 7th September – South Queensferry.
The swallows have gone already and yesterday a cold easterly squall stripped the leaves from the beautiful crimson acer. This is the worst summer I can recall – older is colder and my heating has never really been off – but it’s the interminable grey skies which have really done for me. Anxious, disturbed sleep – memory and concentration shot – irritable, no tolerance of stress – just had a tantrum with some awkward plastic packaging! Now a dread, like the apprehension of death, sits on me. I need to get away. Should really save my pennies for winter fuel, but no way I can face the coming months of darkness without taking on some sunlight. What if this mental confusion is the onset of dementia – no point going there – I’m off to Spain.
3.30pm Thursday 11th September – Pedro’s Beach Restaurant, Estepona.
Sunlight changes my whole view of the world – like a shutter opening in my head – light flooding in. It’s 84 degrees – shorts, polo shirt, flip-flops, sombrero. Smell of the sea and woodsmoke – my `sardinas` sizzle at the fire – the babble of lunch – Spain’s favourite meal. My nearby hotel room is small, almost frugal, but it is clean and honest. Rustic tiles, tiny ensuite shower – plenty hot water – it’s all I need – and there’s a print of Bruegel`s Icarus, which calms me. I’m struck again by how happy the Andalucian people are – naturally kind and gracious. Of course the sun plays its part – I already feel the tension leaving my body. If my folk hadn’t left Italy, I’d probably be gracious too. Well, less crabbit anyway.
W.H Auden looks at Bruegel`s Icarus – Musee de Beaux Arts, see http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7510
“In time the great divide in politics might not be between left and right, but between those who want society planned from the top and those who would let it flourish from the grassroots.” This telling statement was made by Greg Clark, Tory shadow secretary for social enterprise, introducing a report published this week by the School for Social Entrepreneurs in London. Like our own LPL campaign, the report`s key message is that supporting local people to take the lead is more effective than large public sector regeneration initiatives. In Scotland, there is no `great divide` because none of the political parties takes community empowerment seriously yet. `Sustainable Paths to Community Development` by Charlotte and Don Young http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7499
The £30m Scottish Investment Fund is now underway and the criteria have been modified on their site. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7498 There is also to be a smaller £12m Enterprise Fund for sums up to £100k which should reach around 120 organisations over 3 years. The word on the street is that the Scottish Government is talking with the Lottery about them delivering this fund – and while there are obvious advantages in this, the Lottery must jealously defend its independence from Government.
For me, Muhammad Yunus is the Tiger Woods of the social enterprise world – and he’s speaking in Glasgow. On 1st December, he will deliver the inaugural Magnus Magnusson lecture to a large invited audience at Glasgow Caledonian University. Mel Young, Senscot`s founder chair, has arranged for 50 tickets to be reserved for Senscot members. http://www.senscot.net/view_event.php?viewid=7500
Should there be a `social enterprise mark` like the fair-trade one – to let customers know that a social business is authentic? For a while I’ve sat on the fence on this one – now I’ve come down with a `yes` vote. Local Councils which move some services into a subsidiary company are not social enterprises. Much of the private sector activity described by Liam Black at last week’s World Forum didn’t sound like the sector I feel part of. The work done by RISE, piloting the `mark` in the south west of England, has made the case for me. Let’s roll it out. If you agree with this, you can help by signing the online petition. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7508
NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but submit jobs and events and we’ll post them on our site. See http://www.senscot.net/index.php?W21ID=86&W21SUBID=0. This week:
JOBS: incl. posts with: SCVO, Scottish Government, Homeless World Cup, SSEC, ECFI, Edinburgh Development Group, Visualise, Latch, Sustrans, Hot Chocolate Trust
EVENTS: Learning Without Limits, 12 Sep, Angus; Study tour (Community Food and Health (Scotland)), 17Sep, Aberdeen; Viability not Liability! – Asset-based development for enterprising communities, 27 Sep, Shetland; Health & Wellbeing Fair, 1 Nov, Aberdeen;
NETWORKS 1st News: People are already sending in advanced bookings for this year’s Ceilidh on 20th November at New Lanark. The Ceilidh has grown in popularity over the years so, to avoid disappointment, get your booking in early. This year, we’re getting the Dragon’s Den application forms out early as we will be offering the ‘Knights of the Dragon’s Den’ the opportunity to get a bit of practice in beforehand. Attached are booking forms for Ceilidh (http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/downloads/bookingform08.doc), Dragons` Den (http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/downloads/dragonsdenentryform.doc) and Soap Box (http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/downloads/soapboxentryform.doc). For more NETWORKS News, see http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/showart.php?articleid=48
Gerry Hassan, the Scottish writer, commentator and political analyst has written this excellent essay called: “The Limits of the `Think Tank` Revolution”. He traces the explosive development of think tanks and the implications for democracy. He sees them as part of the post-democratic elite (along with the press) which has replaced the role of political parties in developing policy. Well worth a read. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7501
The Transitions Town movement is gathering momentum. Good piece in the Guardian about the growth of the movement over the last two years in promoting the concept of a low carbon economy and the role communities can play. See, http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7505
Another thing gathering momentum is the role social capital plays in the work of our sector. Next month, sees a Learning Day being run at the Melting Pot in Edinburgh on 29th October. The workshop is being hosted by Assist Social Capital (our Colin) and Alan Kay, both who have extensive experience in this field. If you fancy going along, see attached http://www.senscot.net/view_event.php?viewid=7509
This week’s bulletin profiles Stepwell, a new social enterprise based in Greenock (Inverclyde) that is promoting healthy lifestyles. Set up over the last 12 months, Stepwell`s aim is to enable the community make positive lifestyle changes through person-centred interventions and life skills training. They provide three main services – the healthy eating cookery school, a stress management service and a range of courses covering health and well-being. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=7507
Simone Weil (1909 – 1943) from ‘‘Oppression and Liberty.’’
‘‘Twenty-five centuries ago, certain Greek philosophers whose very names are unknown to us, affirmed that slavery is absolutely contrary both in reason and to nature. Obvious as are the fluctuations of morality in accordance with time and place, it is equally obvious also that the morality which proceeds directly from mystic thought is one, identical, unchangeable. This can be verified by turning to Egypt, Greece, India, China, Buddhism, the Moslem tradition, Christianity and the folklore of all countries. This morality is unchangeable because it is a reflection of the absolute good that is situated outside this world. It is true that all religions, without exception, have concocted impure mixtures of this morality and social morality, in varying doses. It constitutes nevertheless the experimental proof on earth that the pure transcendental good is real; in other words, the experimental proof of the existence of God.’’
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your adventures
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