What the CSF is about – Esther Ridsdale’s perspective

Our vision is supporting the processes of building a world where all can flourish.

We see great examples of thriving of organisations, individuals and communities but we are also in a time of huge youth unemployment, economic uncertainty, and rising stress and disenfranchisement There is also a growing gap between economic success and individual and collective well-being. Against clear evidence of need there is no coherence in the approach to this challenge.

Addressing the challenge is to everyone’s benefit and intrinsically needs everyone’s contribution. Just as in Roman times the forum was the place where people gathered to address individual and collective concerns, Civil Society can be defined as the arena where people come together to pursue their collective interests and make a positive difference to their own lives and the lives of others. Modelling this, the Civil Society Forum seeks to open up the space and be a place where people with both common and divergent interests can come together and address challenges effecting the individual and collective interests and wellbeing and pursue the vision of a world where all can flourish.

The role of the forum is to create the space and practice the processes for having conversations about things that matter. Its aim is to enable people to address the challenges and opportunities; working collaboratively and creatively to make life-enhancing change. We seek to stimulate change that is considerate of the wider impact (on all stakeholders including society and the world) and through building capabilities of people and organisations to support the individuation of people and society. It aims to be a place where people can think, learn, plan and take action to make a difference.

The forum has been created by a group of people with passion and experience in supporting organisational, personal and community development and common commitment to systems thinking and holistic approaches. We all have a deep concern for ways in which we as individuals, organisations and society can build our resourcefulness and create and protect of shared value. By doing this, our desire is to develop our collective capacity to work collaboratively and creatively towards a world that works for everyone.