This website has been created by Anne Yarwood, resident in Ascot for over 50 years, to show how individuals CAN effect change… can DO something about their concerns, in an imaginative way.


Dear Readers,

This month’s theme is :-



“Instructions for living a life.

Pay attention.

Be astonished.

Tell about it”

Mary Oliver


The way I compose these website editions is a MEANDER.

A subject catches my attention, then I recall stuff that I know… have experienced. Incidents are fleshed-out by reputable facts and wisdom from some of the Greats….activists and thinkers.

November’s theme of CIVIL SOCIETY was triggered by two opposing views. One said Civil Society’s space for innovation and critique was shrinking, worldwide.

The opposite official view promoted the belief in a positive future for this space. As I researched stories, I found examples of individuals and community groups, creating civil society organisations which responded , creatively, to local need.

Central to these processes is LISTENING. Listening to what we really need. Listening to what we know, works.

This month, the theme CIVIL SOCIETY shifted focus, as it was explored. By publication time, the crucial point has become LISTENING.


BLOG : a reflection by the Nigerian poet Ben Okri, about the Grenfell fire, used here to bring hearts into the story of human engagement – HERE

STORY : a conversation between two men seeking radical ways to organise… to live. Rob Hopkins and Michael Bauwens – HERE

GALLERY : publication of new UK Government Civil Society Strategy; banners raised by luminaries on base-line values for CS, including Noam Chomsky; break-through peer-to-peer projects in Indonesia and Amazonia; modest at-home activities in the UK … PLUS works by exceptional disabled artists commissioned by UNLIMITED  – HERE

TALES :  an impossibly likely Fairy Tale about all of this stuff !! –  HERE

WAKEUP :  overviews of Civil Society in a time of rapid change  – HERE

NEW …’News from Elsewhere’ : our new page which excites us ‘TIA-ers’; Readers and Friends adding the passion of their own concerns. 

I recommend 3 videos :–  Michael Blauwens in STORY Kinari Webb in Gallery and Justin Butcher in Elsewhere


The theme for the December edition from Guest Editor, Robin Richardson is ‘Opposites of Hate’. 

About Robin – in the 1980’s he was adviser for multicultural education for Berkshire County Council and in that capacity supported World Education Berkshire (WEB) based in Ascot. Later he was director of the Runnymede Trust, concerned with race relations, and acted as drafting editor of reports on antisemitism, Islamophobia, multi-ethic Britain and religion in public life.


I hope you enjoy ! – I’d be delighted to receive your feedback to




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Grenfell Tower, June 2017 – Ben Okri

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I could not get that burning tower out of my head. Bearing witness seemed the only thing to do. Three days after the fire I made my way there. Many years ago I used to live nearby and the tower was always in my periphery. I saw photographs of the dead before I saw the tower itself. Their faces were everywhere. They stared out from the undeniable reality of their lives. They were alive when those pictures were taken, alive like you and me. There were pictures on ordinary white paper, with their names below, sometimes their ages, and then the word MISSING. At that time their families still hoped they would be found. Seeing those faces on the wall, faces that were fresh with life, faces that were serious with a sense of the insurmountable problems of life, faces of a young couple that showed them happy and in love—I was quite overcome. Even before I had walked a few yards, I was already fighting the tears.

Acknowledgement – FT 8 June 2018



A Chat With Michel Bauwens About P2P, The Commons and The Imagination – Rob Hopkins  

Last week, close to my home, was the Transition Design Symposium. It brought together people from around the world interested in what design can bring to the need for an urgent societal Transition, and for 2 days its attendees basked in glorious sunshine and fascinating interactions.  I managed to catch up with Michel Bauwens who was attending and speaking at the conference, and we took some time for a short chat sitting under a tree in sunshine.


Michel spends half his time in Belgium and half in Thailand, and is the founder of the P2P Foundation, a global organisation of researchers working in collaboration to explore peer production, governance and property.  He is a writer, researcher and speaker on the subjects of technology, culture and business innovation.


Wake Up

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No. 14 – Civil Society

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The size of the THIRD SECTOR globally and its relationship with UK GOVERNMENT –

  • Global Civil Society has mushroomed into global workforce of 350 million professionals and volunteers. If this workforce were a country, it would be the third most populous …. following China & India.
  • World Economic Forum :- ”Closing space for civil society reduces the chances that these challenges will be effectively addressed’’ – HERE
  • World Economic Forum – “5 challenges for Civil Society in the 4th Industrial Revolution “ –  HERE 
  • UK HMG Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport published first Civil Society Strategy for fifteen years. Proposes Third Sector be increasingly involved in design of public services: view NOT supported by general public  HERE 
  • Charities Aid Foundation notes the SPACE between Government and the charitable sector is being shrunk, with implications for the latter’s reduced critical and championing role. The Third Sector role is predominantly “speaking ON BEHALF of the disadvantaged’’ – HERE 
  • UN special Rapporteur MAINA KIANI ( 2011- 2017), UN Human Rights Council visited UK 2013 and 2016. Noted that businesses received markedly more favourable responses from HMG than the Third Sector, particularly application procedures.

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