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.
[A version of this blog will appear on the Poverty Alliance blogsite in due course.]