CDAS Annual Conference 2018


“Development, Democracy and Dark Matter”
The Studio, 67 Hope St.  Glasgow, G2 6AE
April 17th 2018

Dark matter is everywhere, it’s completely invisible, it binds things together and it can change the appearance of a space - sound familiar!! We can’t often see what it is that creates and sustains healthy, resilient, caring, communities but we know that it is there and would argue that it can be generated by community development. 

So what other elements and forces in the surrounding universe are helping or hindering successful community development?  The annual Community Development Alliance Scotland Conference this year will focus on just that.  

To boldly go- A day to reflect and speculate on the creative potential energy released by the Community Empowerment Act in local communities across Scotland; and space to look ahead at what broader participative democracy horizons might be explored via the Local Governance review.

View the full agenda - click here


Background Reading

Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 – Summary Guidance

Scottish Government's Programme for Scotland 2017-18 - some of the statements within the programme that stand out in relation to community development, including priorities around participatory budgeting, local democracy and funding for community empowerment.

Participation request summary guidance

#100 years

My thoughts this month centre around #100years followed by the subsequent announcement of a £500,000 fund to encourage more women to become involved in politics in Scotland.   

Some twitter surfing took me to a google search to find out more information about what the political gender gap looks like now.  I was less interested in rankings (although its an eye opener!) and more interested in pace of change.

According to the Global Gender Gap Index – an annual index that measures the relative gaps between women and men across four key areas, the political dimension currently holds the widest gender gap.

It’s forecast that on current progress this could be closed within 99 years. Another #100 years does little to motivate me.  The thought however of reducing this to say 50 years or 25 years, does.  Funding is a start, but I think that we as community development organisations and practitioners also have a massive part to play.   I don’t doubt this, but the question I always end up pondering is -  politically, economically or in any other sector, is our role to empower individuals and communities to negotiate the current structures or do we have an obligation to help re-define those structures?  I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

View February's full bulletin - click here

Think, Action, change

My podcast hopping this month took me to Epicurean philosophy.  I thought I was going to gain a higher understanding of food but no! turns out Epicurus was one of the first philosophers to develop a notion of justice as a kind of social contract, an agreement "neither to harm nor be harmed".

The other fact I learnt about Epicurus was that he was one of the first ‘thinkers’ to actually turn his thinking into action to lead to change.  He bought a house with a garden and unlike other thinkers of his time who chose public spaces for their teachings, he invited others to join him, to momentarily detach themselves from the world to 'seek relief from the disturbances of the city'

I had two thoughts from this, one, we need to remember that thinking should always lead to action and two, the importance of a space to call your own.  There can’t be many that have been unmoved by Social Bite’s ‘Sleep in the Park’ campaign this weekend, a visible show of support to those without a safe space of their own.   From thinking, that homelessness is not inevitable to action, 8000 people sleeping in a park, to change, 475 homes being made available for homeless people.  

Thinking, action, change.  Epicureanism?, community development? either way it’s worth remembering.

View December's bulletin - click here