Dear members and friends,
I’ve found myself wondering lately what my beliefs are – what values I represent which distinguish me from anyone else. I’ve also been wondering whether we choose our beliefs – or whether the ones we really live by – chose us. Perhaps this introspection is an age thing. I’ve asked three different people – who’ve known me for 20 years – about my distinguishing characteristics. I must say the response was disappointing. One of them even suggested that the beliefs I profess depend on the latest book or film that impressed me.
I think she was referring to the conversation I had with her son some time ago. He was slagging street beggars on telly as chancers – I thought 14 was too young to be a cynic. I urged him to respect qualities like compassion, honour and courage because they are positive – life enhancing. His parents looked at me a bit funny – I had tears in my eyes. I got the speech from Robert Duvall in ‘Secondhand Lions’. Great film.
My wee cousin, who’s got a lot of grief in her life just now, phones for a moan. When she’s got it all out, she asks me if life gets any easier with age. “Yes”, I reply – “as you become clearer who you are – what you want – what you believe – you don’t let things bother you so much.” My reply impresses her. I got it from Bill Murray in ‘Lost in Translation’. Great film.
A seminar I attended recently was addressed by Iain MacWhirter, the journalist, who spoke about his concern for the state of the Scottish media. Both the Scotsman and the Herald are dying – STV is giving up any pretence of public service broadcasting – the BBC has lost the will and the means to lead political debate in Scotland. ‘Increasingly, Scots see themselves through the prism of an anglo-centric media which occasionally nods in the direction of devolution but really doesn’t understand life outside the M25.’ If this is true – that there is no longer a Scottish owned platform for debate – then we really are a subdued nation. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8338
For the past year Senscot has been consulting with the Scottish social enterprise community about the idea of a social enterprise ‘identifier’ – specifically the ‘mark’ (SEM) being promoted by RISE in England. Distilled from the comments of around 100 network members, we have produced a short report – those of you in favour of the SEM for outweigh those against. Senscot met with RISE this week to discuss progress re the national roll out in November and will be meeting with Scottish Govt later this month. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8339
Since Senscot started 10 years ago, I have been a fan of the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) – and since 2002 of the Fife associate school at BRAG. I believe that Scottish Government missed a major opportunity by failing to invest in this model of nurturing the next generation of social entrepreneurs – because it really works – with people of all backgrounds. We are pleased to learn that a new round of ERDF funding will enable SSE to continue its Fife programme (now called ‘Motivate to innovate’) and over the next 3 years expand their programme into Clackmannanshire, Ayrshire and West Lothian. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8335
On BBC1, on Tuesday 7 July, Sally Magnusson will tell how Muhammad Yunus’ Grameen bank is coming to Glasgow. Grameen`s system is based on people gradually working their way out of poverty and dependence – but our benefit system deducts anything earned from claimants. Yunus finds this extraordinary – ‘I’d double it`- he says. This clash of cultures will be interesting. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8336
Specialist initiatives to reach ‘the unbankable’ and to invest in the social economy are delivering increasing benefit – but they could never match the impact of legislation like the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) in USA. By compelling banks to be open and transparent about their activities in marginalised areas – CRA has leveraged trillions of dollars into low income communities. The campaign to enact similar legislation in the UK is gaining momentum. Good background paper in July’s Social Enterprise. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8321 Learn about the campaign http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8337
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/jobsevents.php. This week:
JOBS: incl. posts with Centre of Health and Wellbeing, Voluntary Action Fund, Show Racism the Red Card, Hamilton & Clydesdale Women’s Aid, ARC Scotland, YMCA Scotland, Sustainable Scotland Network (Keep Scotland Beautiful), East Renfrewshire Women’s Aid, Bethany Christian Trust, Christian Aid
EVENTS: Bruncheon! Featuring the Sound of Muesli, 7 Jul; Compassionate Living Fayre Edinburgh’09, 25 Jul; Stress Awareness at Work, 21 Aug;
NETWORKS NEWS: Colin writes: Yesterday, we visited Bristol to meet with RISE re Scottish interest in the Social Enterprise Mark. Attention is now focussed on a UK wide launch at the end of this year. We took the opportunity to visit two Markholders: the Watershed – a Cultural social enterprise running a cinema, an events venue, a great cafe/restaurant, and also a couple of cutting edge communications trading arms; and The Pierian Centre in St Paul’s area – a multi-use community hub which hires out office space, reception rooms for conferences and weddings as well as facilitating a number of large multicultural festivals. For more Networks News, see http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/showart.php?articleid=96
The RBS SE100 Index is the first online tool to chart social enterprise growth and impact measurement. Promoted through Social Enterprise Magazine, it profiles a different market every month. This month it`s Leisure, Sports, Arts and Culture and its good to see Scotland represented in the top 5 by Re-Union Canal Boats Ltd. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8319
Congratulations to Columba 1400 on scooping the Sunday Times Social Entrepreneur Awards last week in London. The Skye-based enterprise beat off competition from 2,000 entrants from around the UK to scoop a first prize of £500K. They intend to use the prize-money to build a new leadership centre in Loch Lomond for young people who have faced homelessness, addiction, poverty or grown up within the care system. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8320
Triodos Bank has received a prestigious award – The international sustainable bank of the year – which celebrates the successful integration of social and environmental concerns in its work. Triodos, which specialises in Third Sector lending, is active in Scotland with an office in Edinburgh, and is currently lending at record levels. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8345
This week’s bulletin profiles a business, based in Oban that is owned and operated by the community. Atlantis Leisure now proudly offers a range of sports facilities and services that can rightly claim to be the best in the West Highlands. As well as a first class pool, Atlantic also operates a gym, dance studios, 5-a-side, meeting and conference facilities and also a popular café. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=8340
In his contribution to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Contemporary Social Evils, published earlier this month, Mathew Taylor, chief executive of the Royal Society of the Arts, argues that we need to draw on the academic model of cultural theory to help us make sense of our world. Our social (and political) relationships are, according to cultural theory, divided into four main categories: hierarchical (driven from the top down by rules and authority); egalitarian (created from the bottom up and shaped by long strong collective institutions and values); individualistic (the free market and consumer model) and fatalistic (positive change is either impossible or arbitrary). Temperamentally I’m opposed to hierarchies and fatalism – so I’m for a blend of the other two – a kind of collective individualism – like a form of Jazz band.
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your adventures
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