Martin Cawley, Director of Big Lottery Scotland, reflects on the recent Future of Doing Good event held in Glasgow on Tuesday 6th September 2016
Recently I had the delight to host our first Future of Doing Good event in Glasgow. It was wonderful to participate in a vibrant and engaging discussion about the future nature of ‘doing good’ in Scotland with such an experienced and well-informed audience, not to mention an array of talented speakers.
But what does ‘doing good’ mean? Who are we seeking to ‘do good’ for or with? How does one measure this? How should the public, private and civil sectors collaborate to deliver the types of services people in our communities and society want and need to help them maximise their citizenship, enabling them to live as rich, inclusive, cultured and fulfilling lives as possible?
I admit it sounds rather complicated.
So can we simplify this concept? Well as one who has been in the permanently disillusioned group for most of my life this may be a rather naive contribution however recent reading of an article by Donna Hicks of the Harvard University Center for International Affairs resonated with me.
Donna has worked throughout her long career in the area of conflict resolution. Donna argues dignity is at the heart of everything. The more one affords a fellow citizen or human being dignity, which Donna suggests is an intrinsic human value and need then the more we boost our own dignity.
Donna has successfully applied her dignity model on a global stage. Her clients include the World Bank, the United Nations, the US Navy, a major US legacy airline, and governments worldwide and Donna currently helps leaders in business, health care, government, education and other fields to create cultures that foster innovation and dignified human relationships.
For me this is a simple example of doing good and the more we do good to and with others the more we not only help the recipient of our efforts and but the more we also build their own resilience and disposition to do good to others.
So rather than spending too much time going round in circles trying to answer some of the broad questions outlined above, perhaps we should just afford one and other as much basic human dignity as we can. Surely that won’t do any harm and at the very least might provide a half decent starting point.