The importance of mentality


Dilys Winterkorn


Some conferences have the power to ignite movements. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Next Frontiers was one such event, offering a space to confront the poly-crisis and initiate a far-reaching movement. This movement, long championed by many communities, centres on one crucial idea: good economics for a healthy economy. This means investment into community wealth building, climate interventions, and fundamentally, sharing the wealth to those who need it the most.

When I was invited to speak, I just wanted to do justice for the communities and neighbourhoods that I represent and have been privileged to have supported in some way.

I chose to outline Pathway’s mission; to implement the recommendations from Lord Victor Adebowale’s Commission on Social Investment; to raise £50 million to support Black and Ethnic Minoritised charities, social enterprises, and businesses and to help build an inclusive economy.

The From Private Ownership to Community Stewardship panel featured an impressive set of leaders. The discussions at this panel, and throughout the conference, made it clear that to move away from economic stagnation and social division, we must abandon traditional financing and funding models. We need to advocate for philanthropic and investment models rooted in regenerative and reparative principles. Encouragingly, these models are sound – and are already being tested and proven by brave social innovators and changemakers who are committed to driving long-term, positive, change.

There was a strong consensus on the necessary changes to redirect funds to underserved communities, including creating educational pathways for funders, bridging capability gaps, involving both central and local governments, and fostering community collaboration to drive systemic change.

One key takeaway from the conference was the importance of mentality. Regardless of an organisation’s focus or its beneficiaries, success hinges on a mindset. Laser focus on inspiring real change. This mentality must push us beyond our comfort zones and continuously challenge us to rethink how community stewardship can be implemented effectively.

Community stewardship is a dynamic and adaptable concept. It can work for the people of Hastings and their buildings as well as for the ecologically minded in Birmingham.

The shared mentality among the panellists’ organisations – a commitment to serving their communities’ needs – filled me with optimism and a shared vision.

Pathway embodies this mentality through our emerging work in asset acquisition and programmes in enterprise development, the First-Time Fund Manager Incubator, and the Racial Equality Scorecard. We are committed to continually defining, redefining, evolving, and revolutionising community stewardship to effectively serve Black and Ethnic Minoritised charities, social enterprises and, communities.

For Pathway’s work to continue expanding and succeeding, we must remain willing to redefine and revolutionise community stewardship for Black and Ethnic Minoritised charities… and those they serve. This is uncharted territory, but it is precisely what we are determined to do.

During a period marked by the UK’s economic stagnation, there is untapped potential across the country – that was clear in the room, from the evidence through to and impact on display. The Next Frontiers conference has the power to mobilise philanthropy and capital to where they are needed most. This is an opportunity for wealth holders, trusts, and foundations to invest boldly to drive this transformative movement for a good economy forward.

Dilys Winterkorn is the Project Director for Pathway Fund

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