Everyone seems to be claiming they are community-led, or that they support community leadership, or telling others they ought to do it.
But what does being community-led actually look like on the ground? How do you make it work? What are the pitfalls and contradictions? How do you sustain it? Is it more of a frame of mind or must it be a formal process? Is it, indeed, always desirable?
It’s time to have an honest ‘warts and all’ conversation that cuts through the glossy rhetoric so we can help people deal with the practical challenges of trying to make it work.
Bob Thust is the co-founder of Practical Governance providing hands-on governance support to organisations with a social purpose. He is a former Responsible Business Director at Deloitte UK and former Director of Programmes at the Power to Change Trust. Above all he believes in the power of people and communities to find and determine their own solutions to the challenges that face them. He is a trustee of Local Trust and Treasurer of the Bevy community-owned pub in Brighton, where he spends far too much of his time, as well as a senior consultant for Numbers for Good and the Social Change Agency.