A new PACT for civil society
The Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society has wrapped up with a call for a radical change in Power Accountability Connection and Trust
For the past two years, Civil Society Futures has been actively listening to people across the country. More than 3,000 people have been involved in debates through hundreds of workshops, meetings, events, blogs and academic research.
Strong themes of concern became clear. Power, place and belonging all emerged as issues from very different parts of the country.
That’s why in its final report Civil Society Futures has put forward a PACT for civil society. It is a call to those from small charities to major institutions to all pledge to rethink the way Power Accountability Connection and Trust operate where they live, and how this could be structured differently.
Relevance in a changing world
The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch) was one of several funders to support Civil Society Futures. We supported this work as part of our commitment to working with others to create the conditions for change.
The relevance of institutions in a changing and fractured world is also a topic we are studying ourselves with our Inquiry into the Civic Role of Arts Organisations. Our Inquiry has also identified similar themes of the need for accessible community-centred spaces that provide requisite challenge to the world around them.
We plan to do a diagnosis on ourselves using the PACT enabling questions Civil Society Futures has created. We are exploring how we can measure the volume, quality, and intensity of the connections we are helping foster. If the role of civil society is to be our glue, we should be able to describe its ‘stickiness’. In addition to helping bring about substantive change, we work with and through civil society and act ourselves as connectors.