Wednesday, 10 March 2010

To sleep, perchance to dream

I need sleep. Last night was one of those awful vigils when 12 becomes 1, 1 becomes 2, 2 becomes 3 and just as some early adopting bird starts tweeting, you slip into a coma. I don’t know why, I’m not worried about anything, quite the opposite, there are some really interesting things going on at the moment.

Clearly the problem is switching off. I tend to be pretty full on when I work and to get out of that driven state I move to other interests like gardening, music and decorating. To that end I am looking forward to getting brutal with my strawberry patch this weekend and carrying on with the repainting of my hall. I am doing it incrementally having decided on the wall colour at the weekend and now floor colour last night, aided by my brilliant friend Lissa, decorator extraordinaire. The issue is, I suppose, switching off from switching off. I often get accused, particularly by my Mother, of being frenetic. I think of it more as stimulated. As the saying goes, if you want something doing, ask a busy person.

Today, first born, Joe is taking his piano exam, good luck Joe. In fact it’s quite a week for music exams with poor old Sam, second born, having exams for piano on Friday and guitar on Saturday. Katie is next up, and then finally Joe again with the trumpet. It makes us sound rather pushy, but the boys in particular can’t get enough of it. I think the motivation thing runs in the family. Maybe we need to take up yoga?

Today started with a phone interview for Social Enterprise Magazine on a piece they are doing on the problems social enterprises are having when they try to set up as independent deliverers within public services. I hope in my sleepy state I made some sense. This afternoon I have a Japanese delegation, my second this week which does not include a South Korean delegation on Monday with whom I had a fascinating discussion about social enterprise. In South Korea they have tax incentives for social enterprise, which is interesting. I’m looking forward to hearing more about that. We are working all over the world at the moment. SEL staffer, Catriona has just come back from Vietnam and Georgia, Lesley is in Croatia and I am off to Japan at the end of the month. All this work is with Governments, NGO's and social enterprises wanting to steer increased development. We don't have all the answers, in reality I am often blown away by what is happening elsewhere in the world, but we are seen as Global leaders and do have a lot to offer. Being part of a Global movement is a real privilege.

With Matt and the delegation from the Japanese Keizai Doyukai Foundation this afternoon

Later on today I am meeting our Minister Angela Smith at the House of Commons with a delegation from the Third sector to talk about the issues for social enterprise in the here and now. I should imagine the right to request will come up, as will investment, procurement and access to information. Our world is changing so quickly, it’s hard for everyone to keep up, maybe that’s why I can’t sleep?

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