Seizing the Moment
24 November 2020 - Imran Ali

One of our strategic partners, the Royal Society of Arts, yesterday published a report exploring the response of the public sector to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Seizing the moment: building local bridges to the future” examines how various services across the public sector have orchestrated and integrated their response across organisational boundaries and included communities and other partners, potentially illustrating a stronger way forward for future cooperation.

The report features a number of perspectives local to Bradford: with comments from CEOs of both Bradford and Leeds’ councils, Kersten England and Tom Riordan; Kim Shutler of Bradford’s Cellar Trust, Professor John Wright of the Bradford Institute for Health Research and our own CEO Kamran Rashid.

On public sector transformation Kamran noted:

“There will be significant changes. There is a recognition that local authority alone is not in a position to deliver services to communities without the collaboration other public services and, more importantly, the voluntary and community sector.”

Kamran goes on to discuss the sensitivities and ethics of data:
“Data sharing needs to be thought out properly. It needs to be ethical. We need to make sure that people are not being made vulnerable as a result of their data being collected. But we need to address health inequalities and data is vital to help with targeted interventions.”
In observing the new collaborative spirit across Bradford district, Kersten England has begun to try codify those relationships in a more formal architecture:

“I’m redesigning a local strategic partnership. I’m trying to do that now with a renewed ‘esprit de corps’ and a greater willingness to work beyond the confines of institutions.”

Indeed, Professor John Wright captures evocatively one of our core values as Impact Hub Bradford, to be a “listening” organisation:
“We have got to really engage with our constituents, the public, our community – it’s the end of the patriarchal ‘we will do this’. Communities know what the solutions are. People are wise.”
Clock below to download the full report from the RSA website.
RSA: Seizing the Moment
(Incidentally, all three of our founding team are fellows of the Royal Society of Arts and Impact Hub Bradford co-hosted a meetup with the RSA last Autumn, gathering together its fellows from across the North.)