- Geof Cox's Blog
- The dark side of the social enterprise boom...
- What would a social enterprise economy look like?
- Social Enterprise Law in South Eastern Europe
- Where does social enterprise fit in postcapitalism?
- Can social enterprise save public services?
- Greece, France - making enterprise more social...
- Small is the new big!
- Social impact is no longer an option for big brands
- What on earth is Social Enterprise UK doing?
- Asset Based Strategy Matrix
- Copyright infringement is NOT theft
- Impact2 Social Enterprise Conference
- Not So Grim Up North
- CASE's 30th Birthday
- Guardian Blog
- The Senscot Bulletin
- The Performance of Socially Responsible Investment
- Social Investment – or the Emperor's New Clothes
- Such a definitions mess that NOBODY can now clear it up?
- Social Enterprise Mark... or Social Enterprise Brand?
- Why social enterprise needs its own approach to intellectual property rights
- Does the social enterprise movement lack leadership?
- Business models based on greed and exploitation
- Not many jokes...
- NHS Social Enterprise Spin-outs - the real story
- Will tendering ever work for social enterprise?
- Learning from the Open Source Movement
- The Guardian & Social Enterprise
- The focus on a few kinds of social enterprise is blinding us to a bigger picture
- What do social enterprise and chocolate have in common?
- From Albania Again
- Guardian Social Enterprise Summit
- A conflict common to many co-operatives...
- Social Enterprise in Albania
- 2010 social enterprise visit to Russia - 1
- Day 2 in Rybinsk: -18°c
- Post 3 from Russia - Back to Moscow
- A typical question...
- Sounding like David Cameron...
- Do structures stymie social enterprise?
- 'Right to Request' tender collapses
- The number of 'social enterprises' just doesn't add up
- Social Firms Conference
- What is it, exactly, we’re doing with Social Firms?
- Social Firms UK Annual Conference
- Social Firms and the CIC Consultation
- What is social enterprise?
- Social Enterprise in Russia – Week 1 - Moscow, Schekino and Kaluga
- Social Enterprise in Russia – Week 2 - Rybinsk
- Social Enterprise in Russia – Week 2 - Vyshniy Volochek & Ostashkov
- Social Enterprise in Russia – Week 3 - Moscow & Aleksin
- Ostashkov Conference, October 2008
- Selected old blog entries
- Public Service Transformation
- Organisational structures - and restructuring
- Doing social enterprise
- Knowledge should be free
- Associates and trusted partners
- Джеф Кокс, информация на русском языке
Sounding like David Cameron...
I was in a meeting with a well-known social entrepreneur today who was most disturbed when somebody said he sounded like David Cameron. Are we turning Tory? Or have they finally worked out, in the aftermath of the financial world collapse, that business models based on greed and exploitation really don't work?
Here's what I think is happening...
The historic alliance of Big Business and Conservative Counties has collapsed. Globalisation with its reduction of market town high streets to bland uniformity and replacement of human contact with automated switchboards is no more acceptable to Middle England than it's ability to move production to China is to Trade Unionists.
It's obvious to all now that unfettered competition doesn't lead to real diversity and choice – to the local and individualistic and quirky - but to the illusory choice of colourful wrappers around international monoculture and financial institutions too big to fail.
We may have different views on where to put windfarms, but we can all see that using more and more energy on making more and more things we don't really need, spending more on advertising them than making them in the first place, and transporting them half-way round the world, is just plain crazy.
Talk to the conservative stalwart of the village hall committee, or the labour councillor on the local development trust (who are now by the way often working for much the same things in much the same ways) and they'll agree on this at least. They may focus on the distant anonymity of the public sector, or the remote facelessness of multinational corporations, but the urgent need to protect the environment, and our felt need to get back to real human relationships, insist that we reassert local values and local control, reconnect local producers with local markets, and develop institutional frameworks that don't leave us helpless in the face of either the bureaucrats or global 'market forces' – whether we want to stop another out of town supermarket or have room in our communities and our hearts for those whose faces don't quite fit into the glossy magazine images.
But does this imply agreement about social enterprise? I think it does, because social enterprise is precisely about rejecting business models based on greed and exploitation, which led us not only to financial meltdown but to the more insidious cultural disaster of the bland and the multinational and the corporate. Instead social enterprise works with business models that involve communities, put people before profits, root enterprise in shared values, celebrate alternative lifestyles, and respect the local and the individualistic and the quirky.