By Karen Pilkington (POP Network Connector)
Thanks to all the folk who joined us at the Market Hall on 25 October for the “What’s Next For Your Neighbourhood?” event.
We heard from Joseph Rathinam on how radical love and a conviction that every voice is needed within communities is making a difference in communities in South India. His vision is to establish a global network of neighbourhood parliaments – groups of 30 people who live near each other – imagine the economic benefits of one wealthier group choosing to buy its staples directly from another group rather than a corporation! And although we are a long way off, the room was energised with the ability to dream.
Nate Whitestone, whose organisation, A Fairer Society, brought Joseph to the UK spoke about the ways that sociocratic principles connected so well with the Neighbourhood Parliament movement. Sociocracy and the ability to organise into micro groups so that all voices can be heard is increasingly becoming more important at community level. A telling statement from one of the young people’s youth workers was, “They know they aren’t listened to.” Surely, if we ever want to see genuine engagement and community wellbeing, we have to start here, and repair the places where we ignore the voices of those we are supposed to be supporting.
Matt Bell (POP CEO) believes Plymouth has the solid foundations for transformational change and by working more closely together across sectors within the city. He said, “ We can start to show that by working in ways that honour one another, listening and connecting we can start levelling wealth, increasing cohesion, reducing healthcare costs and giving birth to a new social economy… More and more evidence is revealing that instead of the accepted model of effective people providing help to ineffective people, we are all highly reliant upon those around us, the environment we live in and the conditions we work together in.”
Next steps will be to consider how we could put in place differing organising structures in one neighbourhood to see if we can turn that statement to “They know they are listened to.” If you are desperate to see your neighbourhood involved, please get in touch. Some of us will be at State of us 2022 | Real Ideas Organisation 18 November at the Markethall, come along to continue the conversation.
Some links from Matt incase you want to explore these topics deeper.