In Plymouth, and nationally, we face intersecting crises and the situation that led to the 2011 unrest in other parts of the country, is still present here in Plymouth. Furthermore, the climate emergency, social inequality, and health disparities continue to have an impact on social, financial and environmental deprivation. Significantly, the last decade’s agenda of austerity; Brexit and extractive profit, combined with the impact of Covid, have not improved life for the majority of Plymothians. Our public services are reporting burn out and huge, detrimental pressures impact our NHS services. A high proportion of the demand is driven, not by medical issues, but by social determinants such as social isolation and loneliness. Plymouth experiences high levels of deprivation (top 1%).
Within POP, we believe this is largely because we’re lacking the structures, ways of working and thinking needed to better understand and address the issues. We are a proponent of Human Learning Systems, an alternative approach to planning, designing and delivering public services. This is just one of many challenges to a dysfunctional status quo. Powerfully, alternatives are springing up out of the very medical thinking that often holds change back. For example, the Power Threat Meaning Framework is an attempt to outline an alternative to the diagnostic model of distress and unusual experiences. (i.e., mental health ‘illnesses’). These new frameworks share a common feature – power needs to shift. We believe they require radically different ways of working. And this is what makes POP different.
We are not business as usual. We are not content to recycle governance structures, decision making, organisational hierarchies, grant making practices, organising principles that lock disparities of power into the fabric of our work. We look to uncover that hidden wiring, and to experiment with new ways of working, thinking and acting.
People and thinking we're inspired and challenged by
- #BeyondtheRules – Dark Matter (darkmatterlabs.org)
- A Better Way
- Join the Losing Control in Funding Network
- Emerging futures | JRF
- Learning how to be wrong (lloydsbankfoundation.org.uk)
- Home – New Local
- Wealth for all: building new local economies | CLES
- CTRLshift – Catalysing a movement of organisations and networks for positive change
 Power Threat Meaning Framework – The British Psychological Society (bps.org.uk)
And so much more: New frontiers in funding, philanthropy and investment (notion.site)
Our impact & learning
Our blogs - old and new thoughts
We regularly write about our work, reflecting on what we are observing and what we are learning.
CEO blogs from across the years...
- Morally outrageous | Human Learning Systems
- Inclusion: it’s a bit of a mindbender isn’t it? | Human Learning Systems
- My own Human Learning Systems journey | LinkedIn
- Funders’ short-term focus on Covid-19 is creating a problem – IVAR
- Accountability: An unhelpful concept? (ox.ac.uk)
- Collaborate has a resolution for 2019: to be bold about the future we want to create. | by Collaborate CIC | Collaborate
- #NextStageRadicals (4) | Easier Inc
- A new approach to funding & learning? | LinkedIn
- Simple, unsexy processes + knitters = trust | LinkedIn
- Can listening solve inequality? | LinkedIn