Balancing the scales of privilege and responsibility

An old fashioned pair of weighing scales, one side up higher than the other.We don’t talk much in the UK about privilege. We talk about justice, access and equality; about diversity and difference. We discuss statistics and metrics, programmes and principles, but we don’t talk much about privilege.

So what is it?

Privilege is a way of framing issues surrounding social inequality, focusing as much on the advantages that one group accrues from society as on the disadvantages that another group experiences. Continue reading

Collaboration: just leave the egos out of the room

A close up shot down the shaft of an arrow to a target. The flights of the arrow are in focus, the target is blurred.Three things in a row have just proved the same thing to me – you take the ego out of the equation, and collaborations spring forwards in huge giant leaps, covering ground so fast it makes you breathless.

Can you suggest an idea, or concept or area of exploration and then be prepared to let go of where you thought it might be going in order to truly hear and respond to the suggested directions of others? Can you resist that golum-like temptation to keep hissing ‘mine‘ whilst wrapping your hands so tightly around an initial idea that it becomes strangled?  Continue reading

2013 so far: love it and hate it

branches with haw berries against a blue skyI have a love/hate relationship with this time of year. The kids are off school so it feels like a holiday yet I’m acutely aware of the work pile starting to grow as emails come in and the stuff I didn’t quite finish in 2012 raises its head from behind a pile of tinsel and demands some attention.

The mornings are dark, the weather is cold and the telly includes lots of films that I really shouldn’t watch but seem to get drawn into (‘Hotel for Dogs’ – why?). Yet it still seems reasonable to start the day by eating dessert (how can eating up be wrong?). Continue reading

Nearly at the end of the world, and I’m ready to let go

a photo of two hands, one holding on to a beam, the other has let go. Someone out of shot is hanging on by one hand.So tomorrow it’s the end of the world. Perhaps… but I’ve done my Christmas cards just in case we wake up Saturday and all is just as it was the night before.

I am taking the date seriously though, because it’s the winter solstice – the turning point from dark to light. Continue reading

At some point, the party always has to end

a photo of scones on a cake stand with a party in action behind themNothing can go on for ever. Endings bring a sense of sadness, often, but also summon up feelings of completion and satisfaction.  This week, the Clore 8 final graduation ceremony, and ensuing day of fun and frolics, did all and more. (Clore is a cultural leadership fellowship programme I undertook alongside 20 plus others in 2011/12) Continue reading