How can we acknowledge the importance of beliefs and worldviews in ways that allow everyone to feel that they can make a difference?
The idea of spiritual capital is that every ‘what’ (i.e. our actions in public life) is shaped and energised by a ‘why’ (i.e. our often deeply-held beliefs, values and attitudes). Our research shows that although spiritual capital is invisible, its impact on the way we shape the world around us – including our businesses, schools, hospitals and workplaces – is profound. More importantly our spiritual capital often motivates us to change the world around us for the better. When what we do is closely aligned to what we believe and our view of the world, then we are far more likely to feel energised, committed and engaged in what we do.
We are now beginning to understand, in a globalised and increasingly diverse world, that if we plan and create things that don’t have a deeper or more ethical purpose, then events take a life of their own and we feel disempowered, frustrated or apathetic. The social, political and economic costs of a disconnected society are clear for all to see.
We are also aware that many people – leaders, managers, employees and citizens – are dissatisfied with the ‘business as usual’ model. For us, spiritual capital is a way of understanding, measuring and planning for change that benefits everyone, not just the few – for us, this is a progressive view of change. We believe that investing in our spiritual capital is an investment in a more sustainable and just future.
Yet we need to understand more about how spiritual capital, in the form of beliefs and worldviews, is expressed in the public sphere across all religious/belief traditions (including those that define themselves as humanist and/or not religious). Once we understand this we can identify good practice, training and consultancy that will make a real difference to the way we plan our working and community environments.
The challenge today is how to acknowledge the importance of beliefs and worldviews in ways that allow everyone to feel that they can make a difference without feeling marginalised or disempowered. Your investment will allow us to do this and offer you a stake in a company that will develop an evidence-based, practical approach that adds immense value – not only in the financial return on your investment, but also in giving you the satisfaction of investing in something which will profoundly shape society for the better.
The William Temple Foundation is a research and ideas hub, shaping debate on religion in contemporary public life. We create spaces for deep-thinking and discussion. Working through networks and partnerships, we tackle key social concerns, with a desire to implement practical change.
Since 1947, the William Temple Foundation has sought to connect Christian social concerns to the realities of the secular world. Progressive, interdisciplinary and inclusive, our reach extends beyond our Anglican foundations across faith lines, and to secular groups.
We aim to disseminate ideas which generate original empirical research – both our own research, as well as that of our partners – to use as robust evidence in shaping and informing public and political opinion.
We create a bridge between high quality and innovative academia, public policy and the realities of everyday practitioners. Such research underpins our training and teaching, the creative networks we belong to, and the many useful resources we produce which engage and inform.
As a self-funding charity we are looking for an investment of £125,000 to develop our work in spiritual capital – out of this total, £100,000 will pay for the work of two full-time researchers. One researcher will develop a pioneering spiritual capital auditing and measurement tool we have designed for strategic and commercial application. The other researcher will develop the suite of training and consultancy events that will interweave with the qualitative measurement tool (although both products can stand alone as development tools). At this stage the investment will be held by the William Temple Foundation as the holding and accountable charity – £25,000 is thus designed to move towards the creation of a stand-alone social enterprise called the Spiritual Capital Development Company.
Chris Baker, Research Director of the Foundation and Professor of Religion and Public Life at Chester University, is driving the development of the new enterprise with John Sanderson of Whetstone Group, a former investment analyst, media sector strategist and now a specialist in commercial creativity and helping to get new businesses started. Ian Sansbury also has an abundance of commercial experience. The following pen portraits indicate enormous and appropriate experience on the Steering Group which we expect to become the Board:
Ian Sansbury has over 20 years’ experience in the investment banking industry, notably with Goldman Sachs, and over five years of senior experience in the charity sector. He is currently the director of The Oasis Foundation, the research and policy unit of the Oasis group of charities and social enterprises. Oasis is a Christian organisation committed to building healthy communities through their integrated community hub model. They work in 35 communities around the country and are the second largest multi-academy trust in the UK.
John Battle was Labour MP for Leeds West and for 10 years the Prime Minister’s interfaith envoy. He retired early to help community projects in the social economy in the Leeds area.
Hayley Matthews is an Anglican vicar in South Manchester and previously worked in a Blackpool urban priority area. She focused on local support and action, reducing the disconnect between theory and doing something about what we believe in.
Peter Stokes is Professor in the Chester Business School. His academic/practitioner career follows a diverse business career ranging from manufacturing (tractors) to publishing. His current projects include national and international work on resilience, organisational ambidexterity, using the outdoors for training and development, the role of values, beliefs and attitudes in the workplace and the development of Human Capital Standards for the British Standards Institute.
Eve Poole is an Associate of the William Temple Foundation and of Ashridge Business School, specialising in ethics and leadership development. She began with a theology degree, went on to work on change management at the Church Commissioners, and then pursued an Edinburgh MBA and change management consulting with Deloitte. While at Ashridge, her work on capitalism and theology earned her a Cambridge PhD and she has since written widely on toxic aspects of capitalism.
The budget above indicates the staffing of the start-up period during which we will advertise for a Chief Executive when delivery requires it.