In the spring of 2010 I began work on a project called For, With, By and To, which argues there are only four main ways in which we organise most social activities or address social changes. For solutions are delivered to us. With solutions we devise cooperatively with other. By solutions depend on self motivation and DIY. To solutions depend on instruction, command and coercion, to get things done. Crudely speaking the 20th century was shaped by the rise of more complex, powerful and sophisticated For and To solutions in virtually every walk of life, at the expense of With and By solutions, cooperation and self help. This dependence on For and To solutions has come at great costs, not least the ability of those delivering to abuse their power. We need to redress this imbalance and develop more effective With and By solutions in virtually every area of life, from learning and health, to ageing and dying, to politics and the environment. As I develop material I will post it here. Meanwhile here is some of the writing on With approaches I’ve already published.
Why relationships are central to innovative public services solutions: a state of relationships
The Art of With : whether the web is creating a more open, participative and collaborative approach to culture can be downloaded here:
Social Innovation: With not To – rough text for my talk at the new Centre for Social Impact in Melbourne can be found here:
Draft notes for my talk to the Engage Conference about culture and collaboration can be found here:
Notes for my talk to the World Social Enterprise Forum can be found here:
Slides I used to close the Young Foundation’s Summer School on social innovation in San Sebastian in July can be found here:
With: A draft of an article about seeing public services through the lens of relationships – a theme of What’s Next? – can be found here:
For, With, By and To is a work in progress. I will post more material here as it emerges.
The ideas in For, With By and To are informed by and underpin the work of Participle, the public service innovation agency, which I helped to found. You can find out more about Participle’s work here.