The future of charity in the UK and a new vision for the working relationship between civil society, government and business

To many, the charity sector is the ‘third’ sector in name and pecking order. Primarily seen as a provider of relief, ‘charity’ is frequently associated with voluntarism and inefficiency. It is often viewed with suspicion by both left and right. For those leading some of our best-known charities, their perspective is very different. Our purpose in April is to explore what a stronger relationship might look like and what it could deliver for the UK. Together, we will endeavour to bring to life a vision in which charities are respected partners to government and play their full role in helping to drive reform – getting upstream of complex problems, strengthening policy, and building public support for long-term change.

A series of essays by CRG members will kick start the conversation by examining different aspects of the relationship that are fundamental to reform and progress. These will be made available online to participants well ahead of the April gathering.

Society for Innovation, Technology and Modernisation

Towards Connected Places: Insights Into Actions

The Society for Innovation, Technology and Modernisation consultation will look at enabling and empowering place-based leadership and transformation in an era of turbulent times, devolution, climate change and emerging technologies. Participants will share insights as to what works, what needs to change, and the actions needed to bring about place-based social, environmental, economic and technological progress.

The aim being to help the Socitm Institute establish a policy into a practice framework that will help turn insights into practical actions, support the delivery of connected places as imagined in Socitm’s 2021 post covid-regeneration consultation report Resilient people, communities and places.

The intention being to use the framework to help to develop Place-based leadership capabilities built around the effective use of data insights to enable social progress, the responsible use of artificial intelligence, the championing of sustainability and net zero agendas, together with the wider enabling of citizen and community engagement.

Students Organising for Sustainability

Senior figures from Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs) will gather to highlight the case for a reformed curriculum centred on the climate emergency and identify and showcase effective practice; encourage collaboration to accelerate better climate education; agree meaningful next steps. There is considerable demand from industry, educators and students for climate solutions to be woven into all subjects, from GCSE and above, and the Department for Education is also aiming for the UK to have a “world-leading education sector in sustainability and climate change by 2030.

Democracy and Free Speech on Campus: Theory and Practice

Off-campus there is much talk about free speech on campus, and we now have a new 2023 Higher Education Act that emphasises the immense value of free speech in our liberal democracy.  Yet both on campus and off it, much public talk about free speech is marred by negative approaches and behaviours. We must therefore work out how to turn this free speech debate into positive and productive action. If universities are to avoid squandering their collective responsibilities to future generations, we must, first, relearn how to discuss openly and in trust the human bonds that hold us together; second, accept and manage disagreement better; and third, involve academic and student voices actively in democratic processes to build a more just world for ourselves, our communities, and our institutions. Working with Professor Alison Scott-Baumann of SOAS, this Consultation will review new initiatives for working towards these goals, including developing trust, managing complex topics productively, disagreeing well, and taking university expertise out into the real world, to Westminster and beyond.

Senior Faith in Leadership

The Senior Faith Leadership programme brings together emergent leaders from the three Abrahamic faiths. During the three days, they explore issues pertinent to leadership and engage in scriptural reasoning as a way of understanding each other’s faith.