Since our first gathering in London last summer a core team of volunteers have been hard at work creating a programme for SINGA in the UK.
As our discussions with partners and members in the community progressed over many months, it became increasingly clear that a more 'hyper-local' approach was required - one that directed all of our energies into a specific area of London, and then gradually build out from there.
This process will take a while longer to build real momentum, but we think it will ultimately serve the communities we want to work with better, and give us a much stronger foundation from which to grow.
Towards the end of last year I spent an intense week with the SINGA team and their community in Paris. It was a privilege to meet a huge range of organisers and people taking part in activities, workshops and entrepreneurial programmes across the city.
What I love about SINGA's approach is that it begins with finding a 'commonality' and then using that as a way to make a connection between people who wouldn't ordinarily meet. Each project, 'buddy' meet-up or activity begins with someone who has a passion and then seeks others to share it with - meaning different groups of people have an instant language and a way of connecting which does not need to know where someone is from, or agree with someone's worldview. It might start with a love of craft-making or playing football or experiencing art, or wanting to learn more about a particular language or part of the world or an academic discipline.
Again and again in Paris I saw how SINGA creates new spaces and projects where these connections keep happening. I am more convinced than ever that SINGA's approach in using 'common good' to bring people together has so much to offer the UK. Organisations and individuals up and down the country are already doing incredible work in this spirit, and we stand ready to join the movement and to play our part.
We can't wait to share the next steps with you. We are nearly ready to announce our first programme of activities for 2018. There will be a few different ways for you to play a part in helping make this shared vision a reality, so stay tuned.