The Whitehall & Industry group is 35 years
old, it was set up in 1984 and it hasn’t deviated from its purpose since, but it’s merely grown – which tells you something about how relevant it is, I think.
And to my mind, it was set up around four undeniable truths: and the first of these
truths, that the space occupied by the three sectors is so large, no one
individual, no one organisation can know it all, understand it all or come to the
perfect answer. Secondly, I think when you get people together in a collaborative
space, you harness perspectives and ideas and solutions that you just wouldn’t
have arrived at on your own. I think the third truth is that when we look at
the challenges that face all sectors today it’s absolutely true that there’s
more that unites individuals than divides them and I think that leads to
the fourth conclusion which is without collaboration across the sectors, policy, strategy, delivery and therefore outputs are the poorer. So it’s networking of the
highest order, it’s highly geared collaboration, understanding and learning
cross-sectors for better government, for better business and therefore for better society. And I can’t think of a more worthy use of time and effort.