In 2011 (under the auspices of the NCVO) Esther started a network aimed at supporting leaders in civil society organisations to address the challenges facing their organisations and beneficiaries. A group of the initial contributors then took up the challenge to explore how this could be continued and widened to enable people in all sectors to address their challenges and opportunities in ways that contribute to the common good... And to enable more collaborative working and mutual support. Since that day over 400 people have gathered developing ideas, inspiration, and action, and evolved ways of working together that is the basis for Civil Society Forum.
"Our desire is to develop our collective capacity to work collaboratively and creatively towards a world that works for everyone. Our aim is to provide the atmosphere and processes to enable mutual support, collaboration and self organisation so we can all maximise our resourcefulness in addressing our challenges and opportunities for the benefit of all. The forum has been created by a group of people with passion and experience in supporting organisational, personal and community development and common commitment to systems thinking and holistic approaches".
"We act as a catalyst for this change by bringing together the different voices and diverse interests that need to be explored. We aim to encourage and support business organisations, social enterprises, communities and individuals to work together to enhance strategic thinking and systemic activity. This will lead to increased internal and cross-sector collaboration to maximise potential. We will experiment and promote ways of working that release resourcefulness and therefore better serve our collective interests".
"The core insight we seek to address is what we see as civil society’s fundamental need: the developmental transformation of ‘fragmented individuality’ into ‘sociable individuality’ and 'mutuality', in both institutions and individuals, from childhood to adult life, from grassroots communities to national institutions, in economic, civic and cultural life. Our unique approach is systemic and interdisciplinary. It is based on convening concerned individuals and institutions and co-designing systemic approaches to learn and address particular challenges and opportunities."