BCT VCSE Futures  Delivering Change in a Shifting Landscape

BCT VCSE Futures Delivering Change in a Shifting Landscape

07 February 2017

The Building Change Trust think 2017 and 2018 provides a timely opportunity to look at the future issues facing the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector.

The sector is not and cannot be isolated from external influence on its make up, but we think that the range of factors facing the sector has rarely been more complex; funding, concerns around Brexit, the impact of technology, new and more complex needs emerging all the time and how the sector can adapt to all this to still deliver social change.

We want to provide an opportunity  for the people and organisations in the  sector, its funders, and policy makers to think about what needs to be done to  support the sector to make a difference for the people and places it works with into the future.

To this end, the Trust is leading this conversation through its BCT VCSE Futures: Delivering Change in a Shifting Landscape initiative.

Following an initial seminar to launch “Futures” in October 2016, we’ll be carrying out the following work and actions to open up and inform this conversation.

CO3 Leadership Conference

At the CO3 Leadership Conference in February, a Futures session will give participants the chance to articulate views on the way ahead. International examples will be shared by the Interaction Institute for Social Change on how leaders have worked differently to deliver change in challenging and uncertain times and will make space for participants to contribute their own ideas and suggest solutions.

Partner Events

From March onwards organisations including NICVA, Social Enterprise Network, Community Arts Partnership, North West Community Network and the Fermanagh Trust will be working in partnership with BCT in hosting sessions on how these organisations and their members see the sector’s future.

Furthermore, all Trust Grantees will have an opportunity to contribute their views at an event on March 8th at the Glenavon Hotel.                                                   

Engaging Policy Makers

Conversations have also started with policy makers within government and agencies. The complex nature of our greatest social problems, and our inability to significantly impact on them, has led to the shift towards outcomes based accountability and recognition that it is only through partnership that real change is possible. How this plays out in real life and in what way joint approaches will be resourced will be the type of key questions which this initiative will be trying to answer.

Small scale projects: 5 Founding Partners

Small scale projects from each of BCT’s founding partners: Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, Community Evaluation NI, Rural Community Network, Volunteer Now, and Business in the Community will also form part of the initiative.

Each organisation will look at a future issue facing the sector in the context of their own area of specialism.

Commissioning of Opinion Pieces

To inform the conversation about future direction, ‘opinion pieces’ are being commissioned. The goal of these 2000/3000 word articles are to: look at the wider context; identify problems and where possible solutions in delivering social change; provide analysis that may otherwise not be considered and stimulate new thinking.

Details on these opinion pieces, format and fees can be found at: http://www.buildingchangetrust.org/VCSE-Futures/Resources

For more information about the VCSE Futures: Delivering Change in a Shifting Landscape contact: Nigel McKinney, nmckinney@communityfoundationni.org