In his first Captain’s blog for the new website, our CEO Stephen J. Barnett reflects on Euclid Network’s past, present and future. 

“One of my former colleagues had a habit of introducing Euclid Network as a ‘strange beast’. This would reliably disarm and charm an audience.

I started trying to figure out what is this strange beast in the summer of 2013 whilst applying for the CEO role. Now I’m part of the strange beast and it’s part of me. As we turn the corner into 2017, I’m still figuring it out and shaping it at the same time. Perhaps this is a familiar conundrum for leaders in other organisations too.

Looking back ten years, Euclid Network gathered 150 third sector leaders in Paris in March 2007 and registered a company in London the following November. Our network will be ten years old in 2017.

Through our first decade, we blazed a trail with some amazing things: the Naples 2.0 Social Innovation Competition and the campaign for reform of the EU financial regulation to favour civil society. I’m proud of those though I played no part in them.

Better admit it: amid the treasure, there was some driftwood. From time to time, the good ship Euclid seemed to be heading for collision or had to navigate troubled waters. There was the siren call of funding that made us veer off course. The valiant crew had strong convictions but couldn’t always agree where was our true North.

We have been many different things to different people. All the Euclid members, fans, friends and followers that I’ve got to know since 2013 have had a restless irritation with the status quo coupled with the belief that they could ‘be the change they wanted to see’ to borrow a tired but powerful phrase.

Early in 2015, a group of staff and Board members sat down to try to find a 100-word answer to ‘what is Euclid?’ We tried to capture that restlessness in a vision statement: we want to see civil society and social enterprise empowered to drive positive change.

That’s a big vision and it’ll keep us busy for another decade. Truth be told, there’s already plenty of power to drive positive change right across Europe and its neighbourhood in civil society and social enterprise. What’s more: our own efforts sit alongside those of many other organisations.

In our tenth anniversary year, the question is this: what can we do to add that little bit more power to bring the vision closer to reality? Complete our 10th anniversary survey here.

We’ve got some plans and ideas of our own but we’ll need your help too.

Watch this space.”

 

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