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On 27 April 2011 - 5:05pm

“Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself; he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him.”  –Johan Wolfgang von Goethe

No matter how hard it is, we have to face challenging feedback and take some step of action. It’s not easy… but the more we do it, the more we become accustomed to it.   To being honest with ourselves…and to overcoming the challenge.  We grow, we excel, and we move on, up and over it.   With that honesty, as Goethe states, “(the criticism) will gradually yield to him.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a German writer and artist, and a leading figure in German literature.  His works include The Sorrows of Young Werther and Faust.  He was highly influential to the 19th century.


Posted By Changemakers blogs
On 27 April 2011 - 4:07pm

[Editor's note: This post was written by Laura Zax, guest blogger and Ashoka colleague, and was originally featured on Ashoka's Change inSight blog.]

A peek inside Ashoka’s process of finding and electing the world’s leading social entrepreneurs

If you know only one thing about Ashoka, chances are you know about Ashoka Fellows. 

After all, the work of finding all-star innovators (work known as “venture,” in Ashoka speak) is where it all began.  That was in the late 70’s, when Bill Drayton set out across the globe in search of people merging a saint’s sense of social injustices with a businessman’s sense of ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 27 April 2011 - 1:18pm

A day of contrasts. I started off with a meeting at Monitor, nicely situated behind Central Hall so I had a pop around the Abbey to see the preparations for The Wedding ( this was before the trees arrived ) !

Monitor will play a crucial role in regulating competition under the Bill so obviously a focus for attention. I'm not at all sure that calling it an " economic regulator" is a useful phrase. Our NHS is surely much more than economics? 

The relations between the new NHS Commissioning Board , Monitor and the GP consortia will be crucial. So how this is to work is a key focus for my enquiries. How does Monitor " promote competition" ? How does it intervene if it thinks that GP consortia are acting against the wider interest of patients and limiting choice by providing much more themselves and excluding other providers? 

The infamous Public Accounts Committee, under my old friend from London council days, Margaret Hodge MP has just published a report ...more

Posted By Nat Wei's blog
On 26 April 2011 - 10:00pm

This week’s post is from China, where I have been spending time with family and relatives on vacation in Hong Kong, combined with an excursion to a number of cities such as Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai, and the beautiful Hongzhou. While the trip has been too brief, it has been great to build relations here between the UK and China, and I have learned a huge amount.

Firstly, the pace of change continues relentlessly, and not just in matters relating to economic development. In fact, China recently published its 12th five year plan and emphasised a need to focus in coming decades on social issues, or “harmonious society”, and has sought to encourage more innovation and reform around services provided to and with the public. While there is still some way to go to develop the legal, technological, and policy frameworks for these reforms there is definitely a determination to make progress with the same vigour in the social sphere as there has been in the economic one. China which ...more

On 26 April 2011 - 8:09pm

Bit of a local politics blog this. But don't switch off, it's interesting! Suffolk County Council has been in the news all year for its big plan to divest all local services to social enterprise, private businesses and voluntary organisations. Under its radical CEO, Andrea Hill, Suffolk was going to be the first English Council to respond to financial constraints not with simple cutbacks, but with Organisational Transformation.

I use capitals here deliberately because this was as much part of the plan as outsourcing services. Under this analysis, the Council's whole modus operandi was outdated and needed to be changed quickly - and by force if necessary.

This was all going fine until a series of events this year which, cumulatively, led to the New Strategic Direction being, for all intents and purposes, junked. Firstly, the CEO herself was caught in some unfortunate and largely unfair media spotlight. Secondly, the Council decided, in its wisdom, to ...more

Posted By Changemakers blogs
On 26 April 2011 - 5:12pm

Are you intrigued by the emergence of collaboration between social entrepreneurs and government? Interested in hearing about current ways in which social entrepreneurs are working with public policy? Have ideas of the types of collaborations between companies and entrepreneurs on sustainable and affordable housing? Join the conversation in tomorrow's #SocEntChat!

On Wednesday, April 27th from 3-5pm EST, Ashoka will join forces with Next Billion to co-host the monthly #SocEntChat, a real-time Twitter-based discussion on social entrepreneurship which is based around a specific theme each month.


On 26 April 2011 - 5:05pm

He was brilliant, insightful and troubled at times, too… but this is a great quote from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “Divide and rule, a sound motto; unite and lead, a better one.”

It’s sad sometimes how, per Goethe’s quote above, we at times need to separate into distinct groups in order to have harmony…but in a close future, the habit will be one of uniting…and so a better you, me, all of us.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a German writer and artist, and a leading figure in German literature.  His works include The Sorrows of Young Werther and Faust.  He was highly influential to the 19th century.


On 26 April 2011 - 11:52am

For those wonderfully supportive people who follow this blog, you may have noticed a gap in production; this is because I have been staying in the Shropshire Hills for a week.  It’s a place where I have no phone or internet network and, like many young people, I have a real sense of disconnect as I come to terms with being unable to commune with anyone except my husband and the Shropshire Hills.

The challenge of any blogger is choosing what to blog about; there is just so much irritating rubbish and nonsense that it’s hard to know what to opt for. And those who know me well will soon enough attest as to how I can rant about almost anything – lousy childcare, poor use of tax payers’ money, overblown tributes to poor services, Children’s Centres with nothing except some anecdotal stories as evidence, litter and the sense that no one cares if we ruin our own environment, apprentices and the failure to give ...more

On 26 April 2011 - 11:22am

I have a professional interest in social mobility, and in particular, in understanding how to influence it. As a starting point, I believe it’s important to understand how to measure class.

To which, I wanted to continue the debate on current social classification in the UK, after reading Sam Leith’s article in the RSA Journal entitled ‘Class Dismissed’ .

My issue, as with Sam’s, is that the simple triptych classification model of upper, middle and lower, simply no longer applies well enough for understanding, marketing or policy making. Class has become fragmented with ever more complexly - a little like media and news channels, there are subgroups within subgroups – to a point where the historic crude rules of class have been diluted to such a significant point that they aren’t really useful any more.

There seems to be class distinction leakage, in terms of what defines a ...more

Posted By The BSSEC blog
On 26 April 2011 - 11:01am

BVSC has just announced that its outgoing chair, Jacqui Francis, who has served a  six-year term, has been replaced by Jonathan Driffill.

Jon, who is MD of Friendship Care & Housing group, is widely known in the sector. You can download BVSC’s press release here.

LinkedIn ...more