Developing a vision for the social economy in Wales
Some of the leading organisations supporting the social economy in Wales have started workto consider what can be done to enable social enterprises and other organisations in the social economy to play a greater role in building a more prosperous and inclusive Wales.
These organisations are the Development Trusts Association, Social Firms Wales, UnLtd, the Wales Co-operative Centre and the WCVA. We share the view that there is a need for a new, ambitious, vision for the social economy in Wales – looking to the next ten years and beyond – that is developed and owned by the sector itself. We believe there is a need for this vision to help develop a much greater role for the social economy in Wales; a vision that calls on others as well as the sector itself to play their part.
A workshop on the 5th November 2018 was the first step in developing this fresh vision. It marked the start of a process to involve lots of different perspectives from within Wales and inspiration from outside Wales. The workshop brought together diverse perspectives and views and was designed to kick off a wider debate about the future of the social economy in Wales.
The workshop discussed the nature and purpose of the vision. We discussed what we would be most proud of achieving in the social economy in Wales and what existing assets there are to build on. Participants identified aspirations for the sector, including:
- Social economy organisations taking forward new and effective approaches to resolving the issues that matter to the people of Wales
- The sector leading the way and influencing others in cutting edge co-production practice in communities
- Implementing the highest employment standards;
- Addressing prosperity for all and in an holistic way– not just seeking an increase in GDP
- Social economy organisations becoming increasingly profitable (and seen to be so) and those profits continuing to be shared/ invested in social objectives
- Innovation that starts and ends with ethics, empathy and the good of individuals and communities.
The workshop clarified our initial focus on the vision – the question of what we want to achieve in and through the social economy in Wales. It identified a collective aspiration to create a social economy movement that will deliver the maximum benefit for people and communities in Wales. As a result of the workshop, a discussion document is being produced for wider consultation with the sector in Wales. Keep an eye on our social media feeds and websites for more information.