How can we develop flourishing lives in tough times?
by Barry Knight
A group of thinkers and activists have been meeting together over the past six months to wrestle with how we might develop flourishing lives for all.
Our first step was to acknowledge that all our efforts so far have come to nought. We agree that we need different approaches. People in civil society have been concerned about the emerging poly-crisis in our society for many years, yet we have not come together to address system failure in any coordinated way.
At root of our problems is a failure to find a compelling narrative that we work on together. This is our starting point, and we give more details in our first two articles under the heading of Conversations towards a better world.
In Come Dancing with Systems, we invite you to join us in our process. Rather than being ‘just another project’, this involves a new way of being and seeing that is less about discursive logic and more about the heart’s imagination.
There are three parts to our emerging plans. The first part is to develop a narrative. This will cover what we mean by flourishing lives; how we build them by ensuring people have agency and power; and how we ensure that people have enough money for their day-to-day lives. All the information we need is out there already; we just need to bring it together.
The second part is to apply what we learn. This is not a theoretical exercise and we wish to work in particular local communities.
The third part is to communicate our results as we go through articles and blogs. There will also be opportunities to meet in person through various events:
- The Staffordshire University Action on Poverty and Hardship team, CHAD research centre and Connected Communities team, in collaboration with Rethinking Poverty, are holding their first Action on Poverty Conference on Monday 20 June 2022, 9am to 5pm.
We are also planning:
- A gathering in Newcastle upon Tyne in September 2022 – details to be announced
- A major conference called ‘Tomorrow’ organised by the TCPA in collaboration with Rethinking Poverty in March 2023 – details to be announced