Are you an organisation or a movement?

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On 22 November, in his final address to a NAVCA conference, Kevin Curley asserted his belief that the work of infrastructure organisations should not be values neutral. He said: “I was dismayed when Turning Point and Catch 22 – two great national charities – formed a consortium with Serco to build and run two new prisons.

“Of course charities – big and small – national and local – must be involved in prisons. Advocating prisoners’ rights. Teaching prisoners to read and write. Helping prisoners prepare to return to the community.  But running prisons with the private sector on behalf of the state? Surely not. That doesn’t fit with our values.

“Our values sit beneath everything we do and say… It’s our values underpinning our agreement on so many difficult issues that convince me we are a movement and not a network.  A network is values neutral.  A movement is values based. When asked what you do for a living you could say: I work for a local infrastructure organisation.  I would like you to say: I work in a national movement for social progress.”

How many workers and managers in infrastructure organisations see themselves as part of a movement? If not, why not? Comments please!

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