Went to an excellent WG event today, along with 200 others – Environment Matters?. Impressive presentations by people who used words like radical, equality, participation, social justice, collectivism and (over and over again) co-production. And who seemed to be speaking from the heart.
The Environment Minister John Griffiths spoke of a ‘great opportunity to set our own agenda in Wales’ … ‘ensuring full participation in decision-making’ … ‘working with the community to make a visible difference’.
Sustainability Consultant Will Day warned that ‘inequality is corrosive’ but suggested that the scale and connectedness of Wales offered a ‘real opportunity to get it right’.
Gordon Walker, author of Environmental Justice: Concepts, Evidence and Politics, shared a clarion call from Friends of the Earth Scotland ‘no less than a decent environment for all: no more that a fair share of the earth’s resources for all’ within a powerful discussion of distributive justice, procedural justice and justice as recognition.
Mark Drakeford AM, Chair of the Health & Social Services Committee offered us ‘equal power relationships and collective solutions’ through ‘reshaping public services on a collaborative and co-production basis’, ‘going beyond resilience to resistance, cementing networks of solidarity to bring about future change’.
Peter Davies, Commissioner for Sustainable Futures, chaired the panel session and emphasised the need for ‘culture change, leadership and inspiration’. His views were reinforced by the final speaker David Robinson, Chair of the Early Action Task Force, who suggested that ‘strong leadership, courage and determination’ were needed to ensure on-the-ground integration and engagement. He encouraged us to be ambitious, to ‘make big dreams happen’ through building ‘deep-value relationships’ between providers and recipients. His presentation was titled ‘Why wait? Thinking and doing differently’: the audience appeared to agree.