As you will know we are supporting the NCVYS/Ambition/UK Youth consultation, encouraging people to respond and we contributed to the open meeting on November 26 in London. However we were always less than comfortable with an invite-only event rounding off the timetable. Classically such invitation gatherings are often made up of the people most likely to support the a priori inclinations of the organisers. Indeed we touched on this concern in our previous post, commenting that “it will be revealing to see who are perceived to be the key stake-holders.”
The names of those attending are now revealed and can be seen in the attached pdf. It gives us no pleasure to express concern about the make-up of the assembled group, who were asked to address this theme, ‘Changing the Trajectory – Charting a New Course for Youth Services.’ The objectives of the first day were:
To establish a shared understanding of the current reality in youth services in the UK today.
To understand the basics of what collective impact is and how it works.
To understand the level of agreement of a proposal to develop a collective impact project.
To understand the importance of how we frame this issue going forwards.
We are not questioning the expertise of those involved. There are notable names in its ranks. We are though obliged to question whether the invited group is sufficiently diverse and pluralist. It comes across as top-heavy with CEO’s. In particular there is a glaring absence of representation from practitioners, either via the trade unions or the Institute of Youth Work. In what sense could this group produce a rounded and shared understanding of ‘the current reality’. Perhaps we protest too much. Have a look and let us know what you reckon.