There's a risk that this is the wrong question at the wrong time, in which case of course it can simply be ignored. But perhaps co-design includes a willingness to confront difficult challenges as and when they arise? David Wilcox
asks "Can #oursociety do better?" in relation to specific criticisms of Big Society. These include the even more specific phrases "the already well-resourced" and "money", and perhaps partly echo phrases in another recent blog post on Rob Weaver's Blog
. These include the contrasting viewpoints: "The money has to flow at some point however. How can communities manage assets or take advantage of opportunities without money?" and "there is no money to be made in ... (regeneration)... When has money ever achieved anything?... It’s about ‘conversation’ and ‘exchange’."
There are views that resources are, and perhaps should become increasingly so, about more than money, and of course that they include people, what people can do, and what people can do when collaborating. But of course there are also questions, and of course also sometimes very pressing questions about livelihood and equity or fairness. And of course there can be specific costs such as the cost of maintaining a ning-based network that have to be met one way or another, and in a way which can be sustained,
When Our Society was first being proposed there was the suggestion that it could include a social enterprise. It seems to me that there are a whole range of options that could be considered, including for example the idea of a co-operative. There doesn't seem to be an obvious reason to limit ourselves to considering an all our eggs in one basket / silver bullet type solution. I also tend to feel transparency is important - if civil society wants to advocate this for government, it is in a far stronger position if it walks the talk itself - so that discussions about anything like this should be in the open as much as possible, shouldn't they?