I have tried against my better nature to be reasonably disciplined with both the material and structure of this site. However I also wanted to try and explain that what seems like rather an eclectic mixture of bits, does in fact have an underlying consistency of purpose. My time at Kington Connected Community (KC3) showed me what could be accomplished if a community worked together. Equally I became enraged as I saw the institutions that should have applauded those achievements and embraced the opportunities that it generated for them; instead do the opposite and see success as a threat. It was this that made me decide to investigate properly why it is that the public sector takes such bad decisions so consistently, and why it does not achieve so much more for its communities?
I have uncovered this purpose for myself as much by looking back at the connections between events as by moving towards some defined goal. But what runs through all my work and is driven by real passion, is a kind of determination to challenge institutions that exist for the benefit of communities but quickly become consumed by self-perpetuation. This is of course ridiculous, because self-perpetuation is a characteristic of all institutions and bureaucracies, and therefore it is also equally stupid to expect anyone to be able to do anything significant to change it. Notwithstanding these truths I would describe my work over the last ten years as being the development of a common language for organisations across sectors to be able to understand and improve benefit, or value for money, or social value, or whatever else it is called this week. I take some comfort from remembering that when I first invited the Business links, the RDA, and other organisations to come and hear about my idea of measuring the value of public money to communities in Northumberland not a single one turned up. That was only 12 years ago so something has changed.
I am excited about the future and the current emphasis of my work in applying this language mostly now for very good reasons, with large private sector organisations. They have so much more influence than they understand and so much more opportunity to drive change for good strategic business reasons, and for enormous benefit to communities. I have been in fashion and out again I have tried many different ways to try and develop better ways to use public resource for their communities, and have largely failed. But you just never know what could be round the corner.
Adam Wilkinson February 2015
Tel: +44 7811160822