I've long been sceptical about politics and only this year, joined a political party (Cooperative), but recent experience has proved to me that when an entrepreneur and a politician work together, the result can be amazing.
I've long been a fan of community owned cooperatives. It's a fair, open and enterprising way that people who feel strongly about something can stop sounding off and do something positive. The story of Colman's mustard leaving Norwich is just such an opportunity.
I have to acknowledge the innovative approach to funding community groups taken by one local Council. They’re launching a lottery and are promising that 50% of the ticket money will be given to good causes. I remember years ago when working on a hospice project looking at the economics of local lotteries. They can be very good ways to grow income.
Do you follow a vocation or just have a job?
For centuries monks and more recently clergy have worked at our Cathedral. They are here because they have responded to deep innermost calling to serve God and community. For the rest of us, careers are chosen by a series of decisions, each reached as we approach a fork in life’s road. What subjects shall I study? Which degree or college course? Where shall I look for my first job?
Somebody asked me yesterday how I was going to see in the New Year. 'Asleep in bed of course,' was my reply. I prefer my own company to that of others and luckily am married to a woman who shares my dislike of socalising. We live very happily together with no need for the whirlwind of social activities Facebook would have me believe is normal.
I've had two reminders this last few days that just signing up to something is not enough. You have to actually put yourself out and actively get involved to get noticed and make a difference.
I often get invited to speak about entrepreneurship at events. Over the years I've spoken to audiences of start-ups, social entrepreneurs and most memorably, a travel-trade conference in Lanzarote and a group of business studies teachers in Addis Ababa.
I've long been a fan of the coop movement. It just makes sense for those who use a business, to own the business. In the social enterprise world we're seeing a growing number of public sector teams spinning out to create employee owned mutuals. It's an antidote to staff exploitation.
I heard George Lakey speak in Norwich yesterday evening. He was talking about his latest book Viking Economics, which I've read and recommend to you. George married a Norwegian and taught in Oslo for many years. His book makes the point that Scandinavians willingly pay high taxes because they get first class public services.