Today, Pro Bono Economics has announced the Law Family Commission on Civil Society. In a wide-ranging interview with the Financial Times, Pro Bono Economics’ Chair Lord Gus O’Donnell and co-founder Andy Haldane discussed their ambitions to launch an inclusive and evidence-led inquiry that will generate ideas into how civil society can deliver on its potential in the 2020s.  

Pro Bono Economics’ CEO Matt Whittaker said, “The UK is rightly proud of its civil society, and the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the crucial role our volunteers, charities, community groups and social enterprises play. The sector has huge amounts of potential to change lives and improve wellbeing in the country. But despite the excellent work charity leaders do with the resources they have, there are systemic challenges in place that prevent the sector fulfilling that potential. And though we have pride in it, public policy focuses on human, financial and physical capital before social capital. 

“A strong civil society is needed now more than ever. The government rightly wants to ‘level up’ left behind areas and to build back better. Doing that will require a focus not just on economic growth but on community cohesion, equality of opportunity and equity of outcome. To truly achieve that vision, civil society will need to be at the heart of what we do as a country – but it will also need to be given the right tools and environment to fulfil its potential.” 

Drawing on the expertise of leaders across politics, business, charity, philanthropy and academy, the Law Family Commission on Civil Society will undertake new research into how to get the private sector, public sector and social sector firing on all cylinders to build truly inclusive growth.  

The commission has been made possible by the generous support of the Law Family Charitable Foundation. A formal launch will take place in the Autumn.