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Intro to the Reflections on 2013 Blogs

I’ve met some amazing passionate people who share my belief that democracy is strengthened with more public and partner participation.  Believers of building social capital and social networks on and off line they understand the assets within the community that are waiting to be unlocked.  They know that when you focus on people, and connect their conversations and skills, new learning emerges and all sorts of dreams can become realities.  But working in that way doesn’t fit neatly into our current way of making and delivering public services.  It can be a challenge to get people to trust that when you adopt an asset based approach to community engagement you will undoubtedly get good results – it’s just you can’t accurately predict what those results will be because the ideas are untapped at present.


In the Queen’s speech this year she focused on the importance of reflection at this time of year: she made the point that reflection was as much about looking to the past, as it is the future.  I’m not a royalist by any stretch of the imagination but I was pleasantly surprised to listen to her, and was left wishing I could get inside her head and capture her learning, particularly around her experience of our democracy and policy making.  


As a natural reflective practitioner I am constantly reflecting in and on my practice to the point that my brain often hurts (or maybe that’s the bubbles)!  My constant reflection is the cause of much personal frustration and impatience at times so I take this moment to apologise to all that have been on the receiving end of that! I have tried to be more patient in 2013 and build it into my business approach but it hasn’t always worked!  Sometimes it has been a good thing and sometimes less good, but it’s all learning for me as I build the MutualGain model. 


Set out in a series of blogs over the next few days I will try to capture the key points of learning which reflect the frustration of trying to put the public at the heart of policy making,  If you have experienced any of these perhaps we could get together and think about how we ensure the learning leads to positive improvements?  Maybe come along to the (un)conference we are organising with GMP and Publici on 13/14 March in Manchester? (details available in the New Year)

Click on Blog 1 of these reflections for my thoughts on The System Vs People