The new Voluntary Sector Futures report sets out our hopes for the future of the voluntary sector in Wales and what we can all do to get there.
Together with our partners Futurice and the Third Sector Support Wales (TSSW) network we are delighted to launch our co-designed ten-year vision and future aspirations for the voluntary sector in Wales with the publication of the ‘Voluntary Sector Futures’ report. We are grateful to Welsh Government for funding the work and for support from the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales.
Over one hundred organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors in Wales shared their concerns and aspirations for the future of Wales in the face of so many changes, challenges and opportunities.
‘When we look at vision setting, we need to all be at that table to reflect not only the diverse communities but the community of Wales.’
Faith Walker, Executive Director of Friends of Cymru Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia C.I.C., Managing Director of FW Consultancy, workshop participant, June 2021
ACTIONS NEEDED TO ACHIEVE OUR VISION
Project participants prioritised six ideas for action the voluntary sector in Wales can take to achieve the co-designed ten-year vision (See report chapter 5 for more detail).
- Support inclusion and fairness of access to technology and help overcome the digital divide
- Redefine what success means and how social impact and value is measured
- Grow local, international and cross-sector collaboration that raises the voluntary sector profile and builds on a positive narrative
- Support genuine co-production and co-delivery of community-centric infrastructure
- Empower individuals and communities to be self-sufficient
- Learn and build on what worked effectively for the voluntary sector and communities in the pandemic, to strengthen the voluntary sector and wider society
A FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT FUTURE
We’re really grateful to the 80+ participants from the public, private and voluntary sector across the country who were involved in building our ‘seeds of change’ and future vision through an extensive participatory process during the summer of 2021. They painted a picture of a future that is fundamentally different from society today. One that is just, green, caring and community-oriented.
‘Vision for the voluntary sector in Wales 2030 – Project participants’ preferred future vision’ image from report. See pages 47-50 in report for full vision description. Background illustration courtesy of the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, icons by Futurice.
WCVA’S STRATEGY FOR THE FUTURE
The Voluntary Sector Futures report has been a vital part of our recent strategic review. Writing the report early in the review has meant that we were able to use the findings as our ‘North Star’ to guide the rest of the work that followed. The report sets the scene for our strategy nationally over the next five years. It has also fed into the process for setting new shared goals for TSSW partners (WCVA and County Voluntary Councils across Wales) for the coming five years.
‘This report sets out an engaging vision of a future where cohesive communities, volunteering and social activism are at the heart of making sure we are leaving the world a better place than we found it.’
Sophie Howe, Wellbeing of Future Generations Commissioner, July 2021
HOW THE REPORT WAS CREATED & HOW TO USE IT
To achieve the ambitious breadth and depth of participation we wanted, the project combined the WCVA & SOIF (School of International Futures) Building Better Futures Toolkit with the Futurice Lean Futures Creation (LFC) Toolkit (both are open access if you want to experiment in your community).
Our process, which has facilitated strong relationships and collectively-owned resources, has been as valuable as our written report and key to achieving support for our new strategy.
How can your organisation use this report to be the change you would like to see in our shared future?
- Use the text and quotes to support funding bids
- Connect to us for discussion events around any of the six themes
- Use the ‘seeds of change’ bank (pages 19-44) to hold conversations in communities
- Get in touch if you would like to ask more questions or host a chat about the value of the process
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Suzanne Iuppa is a Strategic Planning Officer at WCVA. Eloise Smith-Foster is a Senior Service Designer and Futurist at Futurice, a Nordic design and innovation consultancy specialising in future foresight. They were both responsible for leading and facilitating the project, as well as co-authoring the final report.