Guest blog post by Milind Kolhatkar – Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations’ Council.
Over two days last week I was privileged to join hundreds of people keen to tackle poverty at The Poverty Alliance’s third Poverty Assembly. Details – and plenty of multimedia – via YouTube and at PovertyAlliance.org and via #PovertyAssembly for those of a twitterary bent.
I was heartened and encouraged by what I saw and heard through the interactions between civil society organisations, politicians, commentators and real live activists – with a slew of social media staff and volunteers active across the two days.
Heartened, yes. Encouraged, most certainly. But still, I left the two days hungry for more change, more urgently. The old Politics, the old Economics have served society poorly. Though there is a discernible desire to make positive change with people, for people, the alternatives have gained too little traction.
We hear talk of the new consensual politics – but we see the old, oppositional tribalism.
We hear talk of the new, person-centred economy – but we see Governments – at every level – hoping to return to Business-As-Usual (and struggling Third Sector organisations vying amongst themselves to be the most Business-like!).
On day two of the #PovertyAssembly we were invited to make a pledge for the next year. I promised to speak out more strongly to End Poverty, and to Tweet more to #EndPoverty. Expect more. I hope many who were there pledged to be greedy for good, to want more, to expect better.
The time is right for an Economy that serves People, rather than People being slaves to the Economy.
The time is right for a Politics that relocate Power with the Many not the Few.
The time is right for a Society that turns its back on the destructive and divisive values of hyper-consumerism, and rather values Human Assets and the Core Economy – caring and life-enhancing, creative and joyful.
As this blog becomes our ‘go to’ space for action to End Poverty – for sharing, debating, encouraging and a little bit of giggling – I’ll be pleased to meet you here.
Image from 1st Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty
The 3rd Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty takes place Thu 15th March and Fri 16th March 2012. This year we’re keen that everyone gets a chance to take part in the discussions and debates, here’s 5 ways you can get involved…
- Follow us on Twitter @PovertyAlliance and use the hashtag #PovertyAssembly to join in the conversation. You can even ask questions direct to panel members for the debates happening at 11.30am on 15th March and 11.40am & 2.15pm on 16th March.
- Watch the main speakers and debates via our live video stream.
- Turn up in person. Tickets are all gone I’m afraid, hopefully some of you were lucky enough to grab one.
- Talk to our social reporters. We’ve got a great team of volunteers tooled up with audio recorders and handheld video cameras, ready to speak to attendees over the two days. All this content will get uploaded immediately and will be available after the event on our YouTube and SoundCloud channels.
- All of the above. Whether you’re turning up in person or following the event on line we’d like everyone to get truly involved in the #PovertyAssembly 2012 – it’s your event.