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Getting behind people’s dreams

21 November 2018

Former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sachs mentioned the work at Bromley by Bow in this BBC Thought for the day piece.

Listen to the interview on BBC Radio 4.

“A Health-Creating Society”

3 April 2015

Click to listen

Lord Crisp interviewed Lord Mawson on the street we are building in St Pauls Way.

Listen to the interview on BBC Radio 4.

Lord Mawson in Associated Project Management Magazine

18 September 2012

“My message to government and strategy people is you learn by doing, not by writing papers.”

Associated Project Management Magazine: pp18-21

Lord Mawson in February’s addition of Reform magazine

11 February 2011

Attached below is a link which will take you to a extract of Lord Mawsons article:


African Igloos and Public Service Heroes by Peter Latchford

14 January 2011

Lord Mawson reviews Peter Latchford’s book African Igloos and Public Service Heroes for the House Parliamentary Magazine:

The modern world of politics, government and public service is made up of talkers and doers. Sadly, today, the theorists, policy wonks and strategists have hold of the wheel. But for how long?

This book celebrates the lives of practical enterprising public officials who understand that modern public services are not principally about process or purpose but about people and relationships. It is full of real and inspiring stories that demonstrate how to get more out of less. We benefit from Peter Latchford’s experience of many years as a public sector trouble-shooter and also from the access he has had, over the last decade, to a wide range of excellent public sector leaders and their frontline staff.

This is a book for our time when public funds are now in short supply; it shows how to stop spraying money at problems and grip the practical details. Latchford offers encouragement to all those who work in the public sector and are fed to the teeth of inefficient, impersonal and rule bound cultures. He shows us “a good way to spend life” through a new and honourable vocation.

For Latchford, the public sector is often ‘unnecessary, ineffective, or straightforwardly counter-productive’. It is too large, not enterprising enough and unresponsive to modern people. ‘Enormous’ is the word he uses, with ‘around 40% of the country’s income now dependent upon government. Approximately 20% of people in work are employed in public services. For years we have swallowed a mass of red tape, paperwork and pen-pushing that doesn’t work and it is choking us all.

Yet this book reminds us that there are good people in the public sector doing excellent work. But the systems that inhibit their work need overturning, bad eggs need removing and public servants must once again return to engaging with the citizen. As a social entrepreneur who has spent over 26 years working in some of our most deprived communities, I have witnessed 19 attempts to restructure of the NHS! This book often rings familiar bells. Latchford describes a public sector that, “regularly goes through the paroxysms of restructuring every 8 to 10 years”. Here we go again!

Latchford describes why such benefits are rarely achieved: “So much effort is put into managing the structural change that little management time can be spared to ensure that services are properly tailored and responsive to individual clients”. And  I would add, woe betide,  the soft underbelly of the voluntary and social enterprise sectors – often the real long term players in local communities – who get in the way en route. Latchford’s amusing story about African Igloos is one of many unintended consequences that this lack of leadership results in.

Whilst this is not a political book, Latchford reminds us that “government has become far too seduced by intellectual argument, by policy making in conference rooms… by well-meaning but soft-handed progressives whose soul lies in the office not in the street”. Many of our politicians have become such people; they have lost their human connection to the emotions of the people they tell us they ‘represent’.

An alarm bell should ring around Westminster – this very practical book will be read by those more interested in people and relationships and getting things done than policy. It holds some important clues as to what ‘The Big Society’ might look like in reality. For this great concept, a bit like ‘the third way’ (remember that?), will depend upon those who are better at handling a shovel than a pen.

Essential reading for ‘Big Society’ enthusiasts and those rare politicians who are interested in what is actually going on in the bowels of the ship of State when, as a Minister, they press the green button!

Lord Mawson OBE

Author of The Social Entrepreneur – making communities work

Andrew appears on BBC Breakfast

8 April 2010

One Church, 100 Uses’ work in Sunderland makes the national news, and Andrew explains the issues involved with building communities.

To watch click here

Diversity and equality essential for the best public services

29 January 2010

Diversity and equality can be promoted through the UK’s public services without incurring significant costs or delays in procurement.

This was the message from speakers at the launch of the CBI’s new report Promoting diversity: the power of procurement. It showcases a range of partnerships between CBI member companies and public sector clients which promote diversity and equality agenda alongside improving the performance of the services and the outcomes achieved for the people using them.

The experience of the companies featured in the report is that achieving good outcomes on diversity and equality goes hand in hand with delivering high-quality public services. Examples included in the report include welfare-to-work services in Cornwall and the construction of the London 2012 Olympics aquatics centre in east London.

The report provides practical guidance for public bodies and their suppliers on using the purchase and provision of public services to improve equality and diversity in the communities they serve.

Keynote speaker at the event was Government Equalities Office director general Jonathan Rees. On the panel were Audrey Williams (hosts Eversheds LLP), Armar Johnston (Balfour Beatty), Frances Brennan (Working Links).

How to set up a social enterprise

29 January 2010

Are you an ethically minded entrepreneur motivated by a strong social mission? Starting a social enterprise gives you a more flexibility than a charity, but the reassurance that your values come first…

The three main characteristics most social enterprises have in common are: a viable business that trades services or products, social aims, and social ownership.

Importantly, community ownership and investment means that some or all of the profits of the business go towards its social, or environmental, mission. Most social enterprises do not have shareholders so their social aims are not at risk of being superceded by commercial greed.

However, the actual definition of social enterprise is ‘hotly debated’, says Dan Lehner, Head of Business Development at UnLtdWorld, a social network for linking social entrepreneurs and investors.

The heart of what makes a social enterprise is ‘businesses driven by social or environmental purposes,’ according to the Social Enterprise Coalition… Read the full article at The Ecologist.org

Andrew remembers Rev. Peter Thomson

25 January 2010

Peter Thomson, who has died aged 73 of emphysema, was a “doer”, a minister of the Anglican church of Australia with a very grounded view of religion. He had a talent for reading people like a book. For him, solving practical problems and making a difference to people’s daily lives were a part of Christianity that talked about the word becoming flesh.

This was the aim he pursued through his life in Australia, and for two periods in Britain, where he had a significant influence on Tony Blair. These came first when Blair was a student at Oxford – spellbound from their first encounter, according to his biographer John Rentoul – and later, when Blair was preparing to become the new Labour prime minister. Read full article in the Guardian.

Andrew on BBC 1 – Songs of Praise

17 May 2009

Andrew appeared on the BBC’s popular Sunday programme Songs of Praise showing how an entrepreneurial approach helps to build vibrant communities.

See the programme fact sheet here.

A Man With a Microscope

29 January 2009

Andrew’s interview with Whitehall and Westminster World, the main internal Civil Service magazine.  Andrew explains what the civil service must do in order to make a difference in communities around Britain.

Read the full article here.

Andrew Mawson on Australian ABC Radio National

4 September 2008

Listen to Andrew being interviewed on ABC Radio in Australia

Listen to audio

Waterways face new Olympian task

6 April 2008

This story by BBC News looks at some of the issues surrounding the use of East London’s waterways to develop the area and highlights Lord Mawson as an important voice for those looking to make a positive difference by raising this issue.

Read the full story here.

The Ezekiel of the East

9 January 2008

The Guardian’s Patrick Butler reviews Andrew’s first book ‘The Social Entrepreneur’ focusing on his powers as a man that can shake up those in charge and points to the serious changes that are needed.

Read the full review here.

The art of doing good

8 January 2008

How do you regenerate a neighbourhood? Exclude politicians, bring in entrepreneurs…

Full Guardian article

‘Water City’ Plan for East London

22 May 2006

This BBC story looks at Andrew Mawson’s Water City vision and is an early example of the media taking notice of this important idea.  It is an encouraging look at the exciting, yet realistic, possibilities for the Lower Lea Valley and the effects that the 2012 Games could begin to have if there was a clear vision for the area…

Read the full article here.

5 days in the life of Andrew Mawson

12 April 1998

In this article, written for The Independent, Andrew, gives us an insight into the day-to-day life of a social entrepreneur.  As one would expect the events of the week are varied and time consuming, but many are also rather fun.

Read the full article here.

A heavenly banquet for all humanity

10 June 1995

This Independent article describes The Great Banquet that took place across London in June 1995. This event was conceived by Andrew  to deepen the partnership agenda in local communities across the capital city.  Over 30,000 people took part and it brought together around 200 meals in local communities. National and London leaders joined local people at a central meal at the Banqueting House on Whitehall. The event was sponsored by Cardinal Hume, Archbishop of Westminster and the church leaders of London.

Read the full article here.

East London Report

12 December 2012

Andrew promotes Water City, East London in the Legacy List's London Means Business Film

27 November 2012

Bromley by Bow Centre films

28 May 2019

Entrepreneurial culture in action and the diverse activities this culture is now generating

Bromley by Bow Centre films

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Andrew speaks on Space Science and Technology

15 July 2019

On 16 July 1969 at 8.32 am EST, the Saturn V rocket carrying the Apollo 11 astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, at Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center set off for the moon. I suspect that many of us in this Chamber are old enough to remember exactly where we were and what we were doing at that moment as the world held its breath […] Read moreWatch the live debate and an interview

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