The Civil Society Futures Commission has been set up as a two-year exploration by English civil society into its future.
The conversation will be guided by an independent panel of people with perspectives ranging from theatre making in South Wales to tech investment in Gaza, local government in the North of England to the world’s alliance of civil society organisations. It will be chaired by Julia Unwin, the former chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and is made up of Asif Afridi, Sarah Gordon, Bert Massie, Danny Sriskandarajah, Rhiannon White, Carolyn Wilkins, Steve Wyler, Debu Purkayastha.
The panel will be powered by a collaboration of four unique organisations. Citizens’ UK has its roots in communities across England. Goldsmiths brings skills in academic research, looking at the changing trends in civil society. openDemocracy facilitates wide ranging discussion about the powerful institutions in our society. And Forum for the Future brings years of experience of helping people figure out how the world is changing and how best to respond.
The Inquiry has been funded by Baring Foundation, Esmee Fairbairn, Barrow Cadbury, Paul Hamlyn, Lloyds Bank Foundation, City Bridge Trust, Lankelly Chase and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Research support has also been provided by NCVO.
Over the next 18 months, the Commission will be travelling around the country, encouraging conversations, taking evidence and considering what civil society is now, what it might become, the contribution it makes and how all of us – individuals, faith communities, charities, businesses and government – can contribute to its flourishing.
West Midlands Funders Network and Barrow Cadbury Trust are bringing together independent foundations, faith leaders and businesses with a strong social conscience for a structured discussion, over a light supper to explore the future of civil society on the 30th January 2018. We hope to share our hopes and fears, the changes we are currently seeing and together co-develop specific visions for what civil society might look like ten years from now and make our contribution to the Commission’s exploration of the future of civil society.