I'm starting a fascinating piece of work exploring how Londoners can in future better connect with each other, engage in local activities and find support.
Drew Mackie and I will be looking at ways in people and groups can develop their personal and community networks, using a range of methods including new technology.
We are working with the London Voluntary Service Council, who are partners in a far-reaching review with London Funders, called The Way Ahead. It is looking at the way community and voluntary organisations will operate in future - but as you can see from their report, the emphasis in on the citizen.
In a blog post David Warner, of London Funders, writes:
Unfortunately civil society organisations do not always recognize that focusing on communities’ strengths is an important step in enabling people to take control of their own lives. Organisations work to their own agendas and bring their own world-views. Often the priority seems to be more to sustain organisations than to enable communities.
A better model for doing good …
... means working with Londoners to assess need and taking that as the starting point for helping communities to build confidence and self-reliance. The Way Ahead consequently emphasis co-production - promoting cooperation and collaboration, and designing the future with citizens.
In our work we'll try and offer some insights into what civil society infrastructure mighty look like in the digital age. Today I'm at a conference to plan the next steps on The Way Ahead, and will be tweeting with the hashtag #thewayahead.