Director of the Centre for Social Innovation and Global Public Service at St Mary’s University, Twickenham Prof Francis Davis was recently invited to address the Catholic Legislators Network in the UK parliament.
Speaking at a meeting hosted by Chair of the network Mike Kane MP, Labour frontbencher, Prof Davis addressed those from both houses, all parties and the cross benches on the Catholic Community as a Global Social Innovation Lab - Lessons for Ministers.
Prof Davis argued that across the planet there are instances of extreme Catholic social innovation at scales that are enabling dynamic responses to pressing social challenges but which, because described with a 'tendency to privilege theological description at the expense of empirical results' and 'ethical aspirations over outstanding performance' have become 'incomprehensible to some policy makers' and so lost to building the common good.
The challenge for the Church, he argued ‘is no longer to make metaphors where evidence is useful' nor 'denigrate as 'mere technique the vocation to deliver concrete poverty mitigation'. As such there was an opportunity for all people of good will to do more together.
Prof Davis described Jesuit community radio stations that have unlocked social venture farms in Southern Africa, schools which have slashed truancy in the Bronx and non-profit hospital groups whose approach to mobilising the community element in 'accountable care systems' would benefit the many Structural Transformation partnerships now being driven forward by the NHS.