Co-pro, professionalism & passion: the plan for 2013

As you may know, All in this Together started life as a voluntary, self-funded organisation run by the two of us from my kitchen table with the (co-produced) aim of placing co-pro principles at the heart of public services in Wales. And like Topsy, it just growed and growed. Over 450 of you from more than 200 organisations are now involved in some way; we are running conferences and workshops, giving presentations, providing advice, sitting on steering groups, publishing papers, developing and supporting the Wales Co-pro Network, connecting like-minded people and sharing resources and case-studies. All of which is entirely wonderful.

The problem is that we are still doing this on a voluntary basis, still sitting round the kitchen table, and still self-funding. The bigger problem is that our money has run out. Clearly, we need to move to a more professional footing, and we need to earn money. So…

a) We are applying for funding to the Big Lottery and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation to establish AitT as an independent, sustainable members’ organization, a one-stop-shop supporting the development of co-production in Wales.

b) We’ll to continue to put on AitT events and seminars but, when necessary, we will charge for these in order to cover our costs.

c) Noreen and I are now working as self-employed co-pro consultants/trainers. This means that from now on we will charge a fee for consultancy work or speaking engagements. There will be exceptions to this of course, but if AitT is to flourish, we need to have an income. However, since we are convinced that co-production is the best thing since sliced bread, we will continue to do a pile of things on a voluntary basis: developing the Wales Network, raising awareness, connecting like-minded folk, collecting evidence, sharing best-practice and publicizing events.

And, given the ton of co-pro initiatives, projects and events that are happening in Wales we’re going to be sending out a monthly Co-pro Newsletter starting in March, to keep you up-to-date with the latest excitements. The Newsletter will be address newsletter.aitt@gmail.com – so please check with your organisation whether this will be blocked by your firewall, and add it to your contacts list. If you don’t want to receive the Newsletter you’ll be able to unsubscribe at any time.

Onward, upward, and outwards!

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Cardiff Policy Cafe brings its erudition to bear on co-production

Breathless with anticipation and pink with delight, I bring news of the re-launch of Cardiff University’s famous Policy Café, on February 26th from 5.30-7.00 in the Committee Rooms, Glamorgan Building, Cardiff University.

The Policy Cafe aims to bring together researchers, policy-makers and practitioners to network, exchange ideas and identify the future direction of social and public policy in Wales. Erudition, debate, wit AND cheese & wine will be available in plenty. And the topic chosen for the launch couldn’t be more apposite:

Co-production: participation by a new name or something more radical?

Professor Mark Drakeford (Assembly Member Cardiff West; Cardiff University) will provide the welcome and lead the debate; Becky Booth (Chief Executive, Spice Innovations) will talk about the on-the-ground impact of co-production through a time-banking case-study and I will be talking about the radical nature of co-production and its ability to transform our communities and ourselves. Round-table discussions will focus on the challenge of legislating for behaviour change and the likelihood of governments agreeing to share power with citizens (A. not very).

By which time I suspect that we will all be so breathless with anticipation and pink with delight and/or fulminations that we will have to stop being erudite and fall upon the cheese and wine.

All welcome. Do hope you can be there. To register and/or find out more please go to http://policycafeatcardiffuniversity.eventbrite.co.uk/ or email policycafe@cardiff.ac.uk

More about Becky: http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/becky-booth/11/a07/777

More about me: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ruth-dineen/44/147/bb3

More about co-production on this blog.

…a bit of co-pro inspiration for the new year

Happy 2013: the planets are in alignment, the snail’s on the thorn, the tide is turning, the moon is full and the portents are portentous. It can only mean one thing – a return of the Age of Aquarius (but without the loons and clogs) and the Co-pro Revolution.

Lots of news and lots happening which I’ll get around to filling you in on next week. Meanwhile, here’s an inspirational video from Australia about their co-pro Family by Family initiative. Takes about 30 minutes but really worth watching… hope you enjoy it.

http://vimeo.com/50653317#at=0