Build Back Better – Update from Ian Bruce

As we continue to emerge from lockdown, we are delighted that so many of our colleagues from across the third sector share our desire to influence the development of better ways of doing things in future.  As we ran the series of “COVID Catch-ups” on Poverty, Family and Children, Food, Mental Health and Digital Inclusion, it was evident that people are no longer willing to tolerate the status quo. Change is needed.

With that in mind I wanted to provide an update on a few things:

Economic Recovery Group

I have been invited to join this group which has now met three times.  It is chaired by the Leader of Glasgow City Council, and work has begun to outline how we can regrow the city economy to create jobs to replace those that will undoubtedly be lost as a result of the wider impact of coronavirus. 

In the context of this work, I have been consistently arguing for three key things based on your feedback during the COVID catch-up sessions:

Community Involvement – communities have never been more motivated to help build a better society and we need to capitalise on that.  Citizens and third sector organisations have ideas, skills and knowledge that will help the city’s recovery. 

A Fairer Economy – we cannot go back to what we had before, where so many people in Glasgow were excluded from the city’s economic success.  We need to build an economy that works for everyone. 

A Social Economy – an economy with values would make Glasgow a more sustainable city.  An economy with more third sector and mutual ownership, and one where the needs of people and the environment are understood rather than ignored. 

There have been early discussions around the potential of adopting a Community Wealth Building approach for the city.  This excites me – community wealth building approaches have the potential to sustain wealth in communities rather than continually moving it out of communities. 

Many in the sector will have an interest in this agenda and I am really keen to hear your thoughts,  so I can feed our sector’s views and ideas into this group.  

Social Recovery Task Force

Alongside the Economic Recovery Group, a new Social Recovery Task Force has been established.  It has met twice and is beginning to set out its remit. There appears to be an appetite to rethink the delivery of public services in the future. I am interested in your thoughts and ideas, and what needs to be taken into this space. 

I expect at this stage that this group will end up with several subgroups with space for wider third sector representation.  We will make sure people are aware of those opportunities as they arise. 

These two groups interrelate as it is impossible to separate the economic from the social.  There is also a critical environmental strand that we need to consider.  We want to create the space for discussion around some of these topics. 

Going Forward

We want to see the third sector voice strongly shown in the work of these two groups.  The sector has phenomenal reach and energy which we need to capture and to do this, we are taking forward some exciting work:

Online Networking

We have set up an online networking space for the Build Back Better Network.  The online network will make it easy for us to share papers and information as it becomes available.  You may remember we tried doing this on a system called Zulip, but your feedback was that this was difficult to use.  The new system is very similar to Facebook so hopefully easier to use.  You can sign up for it by clicking here.

Zoom Network

We are looking to host the first meeting of the network via Zoom on Tuesday 15 September from 10am-midday.   We are keeping the formal agenda element of this short to have maximum time for discussion groups.  To attend please register by clicking here.

Our World Reimagined

We will shortly be launching the “Our World Reimagined” series.  These online events will be a conversation with the people behind some of the most exciting ideas about how we can build back better.   Look out for these as we think they’ll be very popular. 

Sign up for our regular updates or follow us on @GlasgowCVS.

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