Dear members and friends,
Last week I spent 3 consecutive days with other human beings – which is too much exposure for me – nerves frazzled. I’ve never really learned to be with people properly – I lose touch with myself – become overwhelmed. I think other people, and their moods, affect me too much – I try too hard – perform – sometimes I’m afraid to stop talking. Also my buttons are too easily pressed – I overreact. I sometimes wonder if I’ll end up a grumpy old man like Victor Meldrew – constantly agitated. In one of the TV episodes Victor is accused of insensitivity – but his long suffering wife, Margaret, says the opposite – that the reason the smallest things upset him is oversensitivity. I can identify with this – which is why I enjoy solitude.
Spent last Sunday ‘in recovery’ – spoke to no-one – alone in the garden for hours – full summer weather – shorts and sun hat. I especially enjoy weeding – down on my knees – grounded – the feel and smell of live loam – the immediacy of it unclutters my mind. Early afternoon, comes one of those brief fragments of experience separate from time – a feeling of calm – that this, now, is eternity. I am aware that my ancestors are still here in some way – of life extending far into the past – and into the future. I sit back and take in the moment; the heat – insects moving – the smell of eucalyptus – birds calling – blue sky – "and that high builded cloud moving at summer’s pace."
There is a professionalised stratum of the third sector (civil society) which will increasingly get involved in the delivery of public services – infrastructure to support this activity continues to improve. Govt. contracts – for social housing, employment training, community care, etc – continue to get bigger and more remote – the biggest 4% of voluntary organisations in Scotland now command 74% of all income. But the vast majority of activity in civil society – where social capital is created – happens in thousands of small groups and projects at community level – mostly invisible to the radar of govt. The new Coalition’s Big Society aspirations will depend on connecting resources to the front line – and there’s no indication that anyone knows how to do this. Armies of community development consultants are hatching blueprints. Here’s an early one from a new outfit called Paces. https://senscot.net/?viewid=9585
I’m an admirer of Muhammad Yunus – the world’s leading philosopher of the social business model. Here are his seven principles of social business. https://senscot.net/?viewid=9584 The great man was at the London School of Economics on Tuesday evening celebrating the launch of his latest book: Building Social Business. https://senscot.net/?viewid=9587 He spoke about Glasgow – "where there are thousands of families in three generations of unemployment". He indicated that he’s coming north in July, to advance Grameen Scotland. I have to say that I’m not convinced he understands the dynamics of poverty in Glasgow – but not many do. I hope I’m wrong. https://senscot.net/?viewid=9583
You may not know about the Open Democracy website – worth a look. Someone linked me to this piece by Professor Mike Rustin – an impressive overview of the crisis of neo-liberalism and how things might look in a post-neo-liberal world. https://senscot.net/?viewid=9580 Also enjoyed David Marquand’s take on the same subject in Wednesday’s https://senscot.net/?viewid=9600
Two of the biggest dithers of Gordon Brown’s time were the Dormant Bank Accounts and the linked wholesale Social Investment Bank – I’d love to know the real story. I think the Coalition will get right down to it. Press release from Scottish Govt. says that things are moving at last up here – that the Lottery and the Govt. will now draft proposals for distributing £20m to £30m over the next 3 years. Hope they create some kind of permanent endowment – not just fritter it to plug gaps. https://senscot.net/?viewid=9588
Interesting Guardian Blog about ‘time credits’ – an evolution of the time banking concept – which looks easier to operate. Geoff Mulgan of the Young Foundation believes the idea has potential – worth learning more about this. https://senscot.net/?viewid=9581
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: Social Firms Scotland, The Institute of Conservation, Foster Care Associates, Minority Ethnic Carers of Older People Project, Arthritis Care Scotland, Voluntary Action North Lanarkshire, Highlands and Islands Social Enterprise Zone, Sustainable Scotland Network, Volunteer Centre East Dunbartonshire
EVENTS: Exploring Sustainable Living, 28 May; Henry Duncan Bicentenary Conference, 9 Jun; Greyfriars Recycling of Wood – Display of Works, 11 June; DTA Scotland Annual Conference "Resilient Communities – Time for Action", 14 Jun; More Than Furniture 2010, 24 Aug
TENDERS: Youth Work at Polmont and Cornton Vale; Graduation Photography Services; Community Resilience Programme in East Glasgow; Transport of Pupils with Additional Support Needs; Provision of Printing Services; Glasgow: information film production
NETWORKS 1st: Colin writes: Edinburgh SEN has become the first Network to register as a Community Benefit Company which is a type of co-operative. They now have the opportunity to apply for charitable status – if they wish to do so. With the support of Co-operative Development Scotland and Burness Solicitors, Senscot has prepared Guidance Notes on the new Model Rules to provide additional support for SENs planning to adopt this model. We expect a further two SENs to register by the end of June. For more Networks News, see http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/showart.php?articleid=141
The first Creative Social Enterprise conference at the Lighthouse in Glasgow was a great success. Our keynote speakers Derek Marshall (Factory Skatepark, Dundee) and Sergio Lopez Figueroa (Big Bang Lab) were well received and we were also lucky enough to have input from Andrew Dixon, new CEO of Creative Scotland. The Big Bang Lab promotes cultural heritage as a means to achieve sustainability and socio-economic development and Sergio has asked us to invite bulletin readers to become involved in his crowdsourcing scheme in his bid to attend the prestigious ‘Meeting of the Minds Conference’ in Omaha, Nebraska in June. https://senscot.net/?viewid=9601
The Highland and Islands have always been pioneers when it comes to social enterprise. We hear this week they are maintaining their reputation with HIE’s plans for the Inverness campus for the University of the Highlands and Islands in Inverness including hotel and hospitality services run as social enterprises. See more, https://senscot.net/?viewid=9579
DTA Scotland this week launched their ‘Public Asset Transfer; Empowering Communities’ Interim Report at a symposium held in Edinburgh on Wednesday. Over 20 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities attended the session that focused on how communities can be supported to take on assets. Evidence on the day suggests there could well be a sea-change from the community-led demand side to local authority-led supply side. The next round of Growing Community Assets funding is due to be launched by the Lottery at the end of June. Here’s the Report https://senscot.net/?viewid=9586
Following this week’s social enterprise and creativity conference, the bulletin profiles the children’s theatre company, Licketyspit. Based at the Brunton Theatre in Musselburgh since 2004, Licketyspit works directly with children to create shows and education projects. Their work specialises in creating work for Early Years children with their families and with their schools and includes shows, workshops as well as the production of books and CDs. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=9582
Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986) was a devastating critic of all religions – doctrines, creeds, gurus, etc. He taught that we must all free ourselves from other people’s dogma – to find our own ‘truth’.
"There’s a sacredness which is not of thought, nor of a feeling resuscitated by thought – a sacredness, untouched by any symbol or word. It is not communicable. It is a fact. A fact is to be seen and the seeing is not through the word. When a fact is interpreted, it ceases to be a fact; it becomes something entirely different. This seeing is out of time-space; it’s immediate, instantaneous. And what’s seen is never the same again. This sacredness has no worshipper, the observer who meditates upon it. It’s not in the market to be bought or sold. Like beauty, it cannot be seen through its opposite for it has no opposite."
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your adventures
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