Dear members and friends,
In our wee clachan there have recently been days of astonishing late autumn beauty – a carpet of leaves of reds and golds and russets; but the nights are getting nippy and sometimes when I’m tucked up, I spare a thought for the ‘Occupy’ protestors around the world – bedding down in tents. I’m an admirer of the moral philosopher Mary Warnock – who last week took the 4 minute slot after the Channel 4 News – to support the St Paul’s protest camp. "Society needs morality" she said, "and at the very centre of morality is not being greedy – not taking too much for yourself – realising that other people are just as important as us." Research shows that the great majority of us are programmed to conform – that only a tiny minority retain the capacity to see things differently – are driven to change things. Warnock said that Jesus of Nazareth was one such – a revolutionary moralist – who would without doubt have sided with the protestors against city greed.
Another quote I enjoyed this week was from the black poet and human rights campaigner, Audre Lorde. She said: "Sometimes we are blessed with being able to choose the time and the arena and the manner of our revolutions – but more usually we must do battle where we are standing". We find ourselves in extraordinary times – when demands for reform circle the world. The future belongs to those who hear the thunder coming.
The current debate about social investment has wide implications – which touch on the ‘essence’ of social enterprise (SE). In the right corner are those who consider SE an adaptation of the private sector (commerce driven) – facing towards new markets – delivering public services. In the left corner are those who consider SE an adaptation of the third sector (values driven), looking for sustainable income streams. The right would shape our sector into an investment-ready asset class – attractive to capital markets. The left see SE as a genuinely alternative way to run human affairs – will avoid bonds – shareholder dividends etc; source investment which seeks only social and environmental benefit. The social investment debate asks us if we seek to change the system – or join it.
Many of us have bitter experience of European funding – how it can be more trouble than it’s worth. But our readers should be aware that the European Commission has discovered our sector ‘big time’ and on 18th Nov in Brussels launched its ‘Social Business Initiative’. Guardian piece attached – with link to full briefing – worth a skim, https://senscot.net/?viewid=11738 . What encouraged me is that it looks like we’re moving towards a European-wide definition of social enterprise: "legal definition will be necessary for the legal basis of specific funding programmes". Rickard Eksten, of Scotland Europa, produced this note of the event – with special reference to the contribution of Nick Hurd from the UK Govt. Hurd is still chuntering on about Big Society Capital and Social Impact Bonds – they don’t understand what social enterprise is. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=11741
Our work on the ‘Voluntary Code of Practice for social enterprise’ continues. Around 40 people attended Aidan’s workshop at New Lanark last week – and we appreciate the trickle of email comments coming in. All this feedback has informed ‘draft 2’ of the Code which is attached. We will continue to take soundings around the country – with a view to a more formal gathering early in the new year. https://senscot.net/?viewid=11739
Extensive coverage this week for the Wise Group’s ‘Routes out of Prison’ programme – which has caught the attention of Scottish Govt. Using former prisoners as mentors is a really powerful model. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=11742
Whatever you think of Hugh Grant (I’m a fan), you have to admire his spirit – the determination of his stand against the tabloid press – how it can destroy lives with impunity. Here he rebuts 10 myths of tabloid journalism. Go on yersel’, Shug! https://senscot.net/?viewid=11733
NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but more jobs, events and tenders available on our website. See http://www.senscot.net/jobsevents.php . This week:
JOBS: Volunteer Centre East Dunbartonshire, Volunteer Centre, SmileChildcare, PlanB Money & Debt Advice Support Services, PSS Scotland, Dennis Publishing, Edinburgh University Students Association
EVENTS: Social Care Ideas Factory Meet Up, 1 Dec; A WinterLight, 3 Dec; Creating Enterprise to enable Social Benefit, 25 Jan; Consensus Decision Making, 26 Jan;
TENDERS: Oak Tree Housing Association Ltd Open Space Maintenance 2012-2013, Provision of a Care & Repair Service and Sub-Contractor and Supplier Packages, Crieff Road Nursery Refurbishment, Perth.
NETWORKS 1st: Kim writes: Last week’s SE Conference and Ceilidh seemed to go down well with those who attended. We have circulated our feedback survey this week and once we’ve gathered responses, we’ll post a report on the site. Aside from having a good time, there were a series of interesting discussions and debate on some of the key issues facing social enterprises in Scotland at the moment. Some of issues covered included gaps in support; social investment; procurement; a voluntary code of practice. Here are some of the headline comments from the day, http://senscot.net/?viewid=11740
For more Networks News, see http://www.se-networks.net/showbull.php?articleid=218
Social Investment Scotland (SIS) has announced David Cook as the new Chair of their Social Investment Panel. David (CEO at Wasps and Ceilidh Dragons’ Den stalwart) follows in the steps of Edel Harris who is standing down at the end of her term. Few people on the scene have as much direct experience of these types of investment. We wish him well. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=11734
From my days as a frontline community worker – I’m aware of the effectiveness of locally-owned media – print, radio, video etc. Due to the continuing level of high interest, OFCOM has now embarked on a third round of community radio licences. Applications from Scotland opened on 16th Nov and will close on 14th Feb 2012. All you need to know here, https://senscot.net/?viewid=11737
News this week of another SEN member winning the catering contract on a major construction project. Edinburgh SEN member, Crescent Kitchen has entered a partnership with Sir Robert MacAlpine to manage the catering facility on the site of the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC). Four SEN members are now delivering catering contract on major sites across the country; Unity Enterprise in Glasgow (again with MacAlpine’s); and Aberdeen Foyer and CFINE in Aberdeen (with Millar Construction). It’s hugely encouraging that such major companies are showing faith in the local social enterprise community. See, http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=11730
Two of Scotland’s most successful entrepreneurs, Tom Hunter and Willie Haughey, are backing a new social enterprise providing support to start-up businesses (including social enterprises). Entrepreneurial Spark, launched in Glasgow this month, will offer up to 20 entrepreneurs a 16-week accelerator programme, which will run every six months. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=11731
This week’s bulletin profiles the enterprise arm of one of Scotland’s best known third sector organisations.
TouchBase is Sense Scotland’s Glasgow resource – offering a range of fully accessible facilities for disabled people, business, third sector orgs as well as the local community. Their venue offers facilities for business meetings, training events, arts activities, exhibitions and private functions. All income generated through TouchBase activities are re-invested to support the work of Sense Scotland. See more, http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=11743
Mary Warnock said this in an interview in 2003 – when she 80.
"I had an extraordinary experience – a sort of epiphany – last weekend. I went for a walk in an amazingly beautiful bit of country. I found a track that I had never been on before. I suddenly had a sense, an exact sense of what it was like to be about 15 or 16, when things were incredibly exciting. At 16 my generation had no idea of sexual relationships, anything of the kind, but yet we were intensely romantic – with a sort of general sense of Wordsworthian excitement about the intensity of one’s experience. What killed that? All the apparatus of actual romantic sexual affairs, then getting married, having children, and when you’ve stopped doing that, that sense of deep romanticism might return. Perhaps there’s a pre-sex and a post-sex romanticism, I’ve decided."
That’s all for this week.
Good luck with your adventures
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