Ever wish there was more time to pause and reflect on the changes that are taking place within and around your organisation, or the voluntary sector more generally? The last 12 months have been incredibly challenging for many voluntary organisations, with those in leadership positions having to work ever harder to navigate a rapidly changing environment. Day to day fire-fighting leaves little space for reflection. Is it time for some space to think?

BVSC Research are working in partnership with the Third Sector Research Centre at the University of Birmingham and Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University to build a network of existing and aspiring leaders from Birmingham’s voluntary and community sector. We will use findings from research to stimulate discussion, reflection, sharing of experience and learning. While each meeting will begin with a brief presentation or provocation based on recent research evidence relating to the topic, the emphasis will be on group-based participation, discussion, and a sharing of experiences and learning. The group will meet quarterly, for a lunchtime, virtual session. The topics for the first four sessions have been identified in advance; requests will be taken for future themes. 

Session 1: The rise of community: how to realise community power?

Evidence suggests that community spirit has flourished during the pandemic and some have promoted the idea of community power. As thinking turns to recovery, it is timely to think critically about the potential for community power, how power operates within and between communities, and to consider what this might mean for their role in efforts to build back better.