Democratic Renewal in Civil Society Organizations?

ESRC Seminar Four – Nottingham Trent University

‘Democracy at Work: Organizing democratically’

Wednesday 29th March, 10:30-5, Newton Building, Nottingham Trent University.

The event is free – please book here

Civil society organisations are often considered a good thing in and of themselves, contributing to making a more healthy and democratic society. Yet whilst attention is often focused on their external role, how they contribute to changing society, less attention is placed on their internal ways of organising. Indeed many civil society organisations are shaped by increase forms of business-like practices as they have to become more professional and managerial which can often result in them replicated many of the hierarchical practices that can leave them, at times, indistinguishable from their for-profit counter-parts.
This seminar will explore the possibilities of internal processes and practices through which civil society organisations arrange themselves in order to become more democratic. In particular it will look at different models and processes, which draw inspiration from anarchism and the alter-globalization movement through to political theory to examine not only why civil society organizations should consider working more democratically but also how to go about it.

Our confirmed speakers are:

Janet Dalziell, International People and Culture Director at Greenpeace International
Greenpeace International are one of the most innovative Civil Society Organizations combining activism with its public campaigning role. Over the last few years they have been through a fascinating restructuring programme designed to give more autonomy to local national and regional offices to be more responsive to their particular circumstances. Janet is a key architect of a major re-design of Greenpeace’s global operating model, focusing on the development of human capacity within the organization and aimed at making Greenpeace more effective in achieving just and sustainable global change to protect the environment.

Professor Ruth Kinna, and Dr Thomas Swann Loughborough University, will be discussing anarchism as a constitutional principle

Dr Ruth Yeoman, Research Fellow at the Saïd Business School and Kellogg College, University of Oxford, is an expert on mutuality and meaningfulness of work. Her book Meaningful Work and Workplace Democracy: a philosophy of work and a politics of meaningfulness, is published by Palgrave Macmillan

Dr Matt Wilson, Activist and anarchist and the author of Rules without rulers: The possibilities and limits of anarchism

10.30 Arrival and coffee
11.00 Welcome, and context for the seminar – Daniel King, NTU
11.15 – Janet Dalziell
12.00 – Response and Q&A
12.30 – Lunch
13.30 – 15.00 – Main Panel:
13.30 – Ruth Kinna and Thomas Swann
14.00 – Ruth Yeoman
14:25 – Matt Wilson,
14.45 – Tea break
15.30 – Breakout group discussions – ‘How can Civil Society organizations work in more democratic forms?’
16.00 – Report back from groups
16.30 – Summaries and close

The Venue and Organisers
Newton Building, Nottingham Trent University, NG1 4FQ
The seminar is organised by Daniel King from Nottingham Trent University. Please email if you have any questions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *