So it's Sunday and I am preparing to head up to Glasgow for the UKCF conference 'to design our role as community leaders..' I can't help but notice a twinge of hypocrisy as I consider the personal decisions I have made regarding my own travel arrangements and how these when x by the number of others going will no doubt require a substantial carbon off set by UKCF.
Which makes me ask do we have ourselves a slight paradox here or a conundrum worth debating over the border? Only I think one thing that will either add or diminish our leadership credentials is how we respond to challenges like this as well as evidence that everything we do is congruent to our values for the Common Good.
As is always the case it is our actions and not our words that others will remember us for which brings me to the three words chosen for this year's conference theme 'empowering communities together'.
Whilst inspiring I can imagine everyone attending will have a somewhat different perspective on what they conjure up for them and their community foundation. So I have taken to Sli.do and asked the question!
For me they offer a wake up call to ask ourselves some challenging questions about the resources we have available and to consider whether 'hand on heart' we can honestly say they are all deployed and aligned to finding solutions that will prevent the social problems we see being faced by those in our communities?
By resources I mean our time, our influence and any unrestricted funds we have immediately at our disposable. Let us just imagine what we might achieve if we only used these to empower others … collaborating, convening, joining up all the dots in a fragmented sector.. acknowledging that this will require us to be bolder and take on greater risk as we start to do things differently and perhaps even stop doing things we have always done.
I look forward to some lively and interactive discussions over the next couple of days.
It’s great that we will be gathering in Glasgow – a fine and historic city but one with its own considerable poverty and social challenges. What better place to reflect on the vital work of Community Foundations around the UK? And, as the concept of place-based funding is receiving so much attention across our sector, what better time to review the challenges and opportunities we face as a network. I know that this year’s conference will have something for everyone in terms both of information and inspiration. We are lucky to have distinguished speakers and workshop leaders from around the international Community Foundation family. Please use these three days to be bold and creative, engaging with colleagues from the network and beyond to design our role as community leaders.