Autumn 2017

Co-creating the future of the St Vincent de Paul Society

Preparing for the October Congress

For more than 180 years, our wholehearted commitment to people living on the margins has resulted in the Society becoming one of the most publicly recognised charities in the world.

But like any organisation, big or small, it is not without its problems and challenges.

These challenges and concerns were raised at a weekend meeting in March when National Council members got together in Sydney to assess the Society’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for growth and threats facing our future.

What follows are some snapshots of these reflections and analyses.

Heading: Organisational context. Under the heading: sticky notes from a brainstorming session.Organisational context

  • Assist people in need
  • Combat social injustice
  • Promote a more open, transient society
  • Address immediate needs, structural disadvantage and deeper needs
  • Injustice, poverty, inequality, loneliness, exclusion
  • Build a welcoming culture
  • Encourage new ideas
  • Open up to people through existing pathways
  • Organisational challenges
  • Respond to 2016-2020 strategic plan
  • We want a collaborative approach to create a future direction.

Congress purpose and goals

  • Create an inspiring event
  • Build an open and welcoming culture
  • Identify new forms of poverty (social isolation)
  • Create an alignment between story and mission
  • Co-create the future direction of the society
  • Reconnect with the ‘lost generation’
  • Strive for a more sustainable Society
  • Promote a new sense of hope
  • Reinvigorate our sense of compassion
  • Reconnect with the founding ‘activist’ roots.

Heading: Purpose and Goals. Underneath the heading: sticky notes from a brainstorming session.Strengths

  • Strong brand with public recognition
  • Passion of all stakeholders
  • Our commitment to and solidarity with the people who are marginalised
  • The simplicity of the Gospel
  • Reputation for doing good
  • Trust
  • Belonging and feeling valued
  • Fearlessness
  • Spiritual foundation
  • Conference structure: subsidiarity, local adaptability
  • Members: passionate, generous, willing
  • The Society is unique: we are invited into the homes of people in need and those we serve
  • Catholic lay group
  • Catholic population support
  • Respected by government
  • Members’ personal commitment
  • Highly experienced staff
  • Great foundation story/inspirational founders
  • Embracing new technologies now.
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