This paper responds to the government's Civil Society Strategy engagement exercise. It draws on our values, our experiences in communities across the country, and the perspectives of participants in a roundtable discussion we hosted to inform the consultation.
We suggest that two important roles for civil society, looking ahead are:
- offering an alternative to individual consumption and competition as the means by which identity is constructed, by creating and sustaining spaces in which individuals are treated as intrinsically and equally valuable and significant, regardless of their economic participation and performance.
- countering a lack of social integration by promoting interaction in ways that strengthen our ability to ‘live together well’ in a society and in local communities characterised by commonalities and differences in backgrounds, circumstances, beliefs, values and culture.
Our response is structured around the consultation’s key themes: ‘Our Civil Society’, ‘People’, ‘Partnership’, and ‘Place’. It concludes by addressing two questions: how government can best support civil society, and how civil society can best support businesses and government, in building a society in which all can flourish.