Big cheeses, bigger cheeses and saving the planet

More co-pro delights this week: last night saw the packed re-launch of Cardiff University’s Policy Cafe, organised by Sophie Hallett and Sara Knight, with Mark Drakeford helping the discussion along. I shared the joys of co-pro (and perhaps rather too much information about my honeymoon) with the converted and unconverted, practitioners and researchers, the interested and the sceptical. Becky Booth of Spice added lived experience to my theoretical effusions with a presentation on Time Credits and their co-productive impact. The discussion ranged widely from concerns that co-pro was just a reinvention of the wheel, or neo-liberal dogma, to anxieties about how citizens can wrest power from governments, worries about risk-averse cultures, and info about the need to reassert the value of the core economy over the money economy. Would be great to find a way to extend these discussions – maybe via this blog if people would like to contribute? And¬† Chris Glynn from Cardiff School of Art & Design drew his responses…

"Ok so what's your policy?"

“Ok so what’s your policy?”


“I didn’t think I could do this… but I did!”

And before, during and after, we were encouraged to help ourselves from tables stacked with impressively big cheeses (including a disturbingly pungent one that wafted uncontrollably over the assembled throng), crusty bread and wine. Mind and belly satisfied. Reminiscent of the erudite sophistication of the Left Bank combined with the trend-setting zeitgeist of Queen Street’s Kardomah Cafe circa 1965. Thanks to everyone who helped make it happen.

This morning I spent an inspirational morning with the team at Cynnal Cymru / Sustain Wales who are keen to transform the way they work and to take a lead in the co-pro revolution in Wales. A seriously open, honest and committed group of people aiming to help ensure we all have a future. Watch this space…!

Next week I’m invited to a WG round-table discussions on ‘service-user empowerment’ in relation to the Social Services and Well-being Bill. I’ve had lots of useful conversations with those of you on the front-line about your priorities and will pass those on. Most frequently raised issue is the need to ensure that the National Outcomes Framework enables a move from a top-down, performance-based RBA approach to a bottom-up, relationship-centred approach. The Scottish Government’s Talking Points Personal Outcomes Approach provides a well-evidenced model which our Scottish colleagues are happy to share with us. Let’s hope we can learn from others’ success…and from the challenges they have faced to put the relationship-centred approach in to practice.


About Ruth

UK National Teaching Fellow, Founder of Co-production Wales (All in this Together), co-pro trainer and consultant, working to make co-production 'the way we do things' in Wales. And having a ball!

Share a thought

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s