Well what a fantastic Co-production Network event organised by Monmouthshire County Council yesterday in Chepstow! The short and engaging presentations from environment and sustainability-themed groups from across Monmouthshire and Torfaen showcased a range of co-productive initiatives and good practice – and covered the whole spectrum, from forward-thinking local-authority initiated ones to grassroots movements now grown into partnerships with local councils, via social enterprises working with both communities and councils.
Very inspiring indeed.
Co-production Wales had a short session at the end of the event to update the network attendees on progress, particularly regarding the funding bid we are putting in so that we are able to fully support the network. My question to the audience was “what does the network need to be or do in order to best support you?” Reassuringly, the answers indicated that we are on track with our vision for the network (which was born out of an event back in 2012) and that it is still valid.
Most excitingly, the response was enthusiastic to our revised and radicalised definition and principles of co-production: “our aim is social justice, and the permanent shift of power from state to citizens – nothing less”. There is a manifest desire for clarity about when co-production is happening and when it is not; for the term *not* to be co-opted and diluted by misuse; and for it to remain radical and game-changing.