Community power – the emergent demand of 2020
The biggest focus of public service transformation in 2020 has been community power, in some form or another. ‘Digital’ and virtual working have become must-haves, merely technical challenges, as the status quo was swept away as an option. Protecting the vulnerable is both urgent and important, and is happening to the best of our abilities. The crushing weight of austerity and the challenges of place-based integration remain, and still need to be addressed day-to-day, but they won’t be dealt with for some time. Trust in government, rebuilding the economy, building our capability to lead in complexity are those weird vital luxuries that we work on when we can.
But it was communities who responded first to lockdown and changing patterns of lives, it’s people in their own homes and streets who have provided the main resilience and adaptability we have seen in this rapid-onset crisis stacked on several slow-motion crises. And it has been communities who have demanded social and environmental justice. So it seems to us that the vast majority of the powerful thinking in 2020 – and the necessary focus of the next twelve months – is community. There have been many reports on community power in the last twelve months, and we have highlighted some of the best links below:
- COVID-19 and Communities Listening Project: A Shared Response
- The Community Paradigm: Why public services need radical change and how it can be achieved
- Stronger than anyone thought: communities responding to COVID-19
- How can communities shift the balance, post-Covid?
- Community Power: The Evidence
- Think Big, Act Small: Elinor Ostrom’s radical vision for community power
- Other New Local: Community Power publications
- The Adaptive Council
- An economy for all: the role of community power
- Community Mobilisation: Unlocking the Potential of Community Power
- Asset-Based Community Development for Local Authorities
- The Shared Power Principle
- Towards resilience: strengthening the systems that failed us
- Opening the lid on Empowering Places: Welcome to the year of accountability
- What is Good Help?