As Civic Revival, we do have opinions, and will be expressing them through the means of posts in this section of the site. We haven't spoken yet, but will be doing so. In the meantime, here are some of the principles we intend to put into practice. We:
- aim to be ‘by and for civic activists’, and are strongly driven by the feeling that civic activists making projects happen in their places (the people we call ‘local heroes’) are under-reported and under-represented. We believe that that, as a result, the amazing amount of great work happening all over the country is unfortunately tending to add up to less than the sum of its parts.
- Therefore, we aim to profile to the wider world the efforts that civic activists undertake, the achievements they make, and the obstacles they face in doing so, so there is greater understanding of this often under-recognised and under-supported 'citizen army' and its potential to change things for the better in every part of the land.
- We also aim to offer a space in which thoughtful ‘local heroes’ can connect with each other informally rather than institutionally, reflect on what it is they are doing and why, and share know-how on what works and what doesn’t work in real life practice.
- We define and describe what civic revival is and means through examples: things actually happening on the ground. We connect with people and/or go to places and listen respectfully, learn, and then share what we have learned.
- We are as interested in the process of how good things happen as we are in the end-product of good things existing in places.
- We will use the examples we have studied to analyse and understand what is going on, and to get a clearer picture of what works, what sometimes works, what never works.
- We aim to be a free space for the exchange of information and ideas, and for debate. We aim to be a place where the conversations that need to be happening, but aren’t happening, can happen.
Some of our general values and emotional prompts
- We are positive, and we are hopeful. We think the civic revival is already happening, and is going to get bigger.
- We are proudly based in Hastings and Bolton. We want to see both places, and many more like them, achieve civic success and pioneer new definitions of ‘economic success’.
- We are pro-free speech and open debate. We are positive about not needing to agree on everything, all the time.
- We are independent, and we will robustly resist being in anyone’s pocket. We are ready to ‘speak truth to power’ when needed, and are willing to call out people and practices that are working against the spirit, or achievement of, our five civic building blocks. To be independent we will also have to be self-resourcing.
- We are democrats. This means that we will find methods of agreeing on how we relate to each other and get things done. In legal actuality we are a privately incorporated ‘not for profit’ company limited by guarantee, and as far as our website and our events are concerned, ultimately we have to run on the basis of ‘our gaff, our rules’. But we recognise that we need both emotional and financial resources to survive.
- We are only as strong as the knowledge and information exchange we provide, and the people who relate to us because of that. So our constant challenge is to provide a reason for people to come back for more, and to help us with their own contributions to that end.
- Whilst we are not ourselves a specific ‘campaign’ or a ‘cause’, there is clearly an element of a mission to change things in what we’re doing. As Civic Revival we are not driven by any specific ideology or political project, whether that be green politics, socialism, libertarianism, English nationalism, anarchism, or anything else – or indeed by any specific religious or spiritual motive. We are supportive of the concept that political, ethical and other guiding beliefs can motivate many effective ‘civic activists’, and help to make good projects happen, and so we are strongly in tune with people who draw on that energy. But we are also completely sympathetic with people whose civic activism is deliberately apolitical and charitable.
- We therefore aim to provide a neutral space in which people with different political beliefs and motives (and none) can meet each other.
- There may be occasions where the common ground is so clear that we do wish to voice a position that might be seen as a ‘campaign’ or a ‘cause’. When we do so, we will do it on this section of our website, 'In Our Opinion'.