CREATING MODELS FOR JUSTICE
It is impossible to create a more just world without radically transforming the systems of power and privilege that affect our everyday lives. United Edge develops, supports and partners with power-shifting projects to address issues of local and global justice. Whether long or short-term, global or local, these projects are the epicentre of our work.
UNITED EDGE PROJECTS
TYPES OF PROJECTS
Our projects come in all shapes and sizes. They include:
Community facilitation: coming alongside people in designing and implementing their own solutions to the problems they face
Pro-bono services: providing free support to ground-breaking or power-shifting projects and organisations
Edge funding: creating funding opportunities for grassroots savings groups, new cooperatives or small projects
New models: conducting research into alternative models for specific development dilemmas
United change: providing ongoing support to individuals, organisations or businesses trying to transform their modus operandi
Edge together: mobilising a movement of committed change makers who have been trained in effectiveness through ownership
Learning programme: changing the way organisations and individuals develop and run social change initiatives, starting with a series of training workshops throughout Southeast Asia
In the past, this has looked like a group of Palestinian teenage girls asking us to support them to learn about their rights and set-up a child rights awareness project called the Rights Ambassadors. Or it has taken shape as a national organisation requesting help to design a youth-led volunteering programme for young people exiting care services. These are just two of many examples.
We are constantly looking for creative, inspiring and power-shifting projects to support, as well as supporters for current projects. Let us know if you have other ideas, are looking for support for your own project or can support us.
We envision a just world where people and the planet are prioritized over profit and short-term gains. Our projects are one way we actualize this vision, and here are some of their key features.
Power and privilege define the way social change is usually funded. We avoid these power dynamics as a social enterprise by developing and running projects by their own means as much as possible. Our independence means we can focus on delivery without compromising quality or ethics.
When we do work with others, however, we ensure that we do so with shared decision-making and ownership. But we will help make sure funding options don't lead to power imbalance.
As experts in participatory project design, we make a point to do things properly. That means solutions must be led by the people affected by the problem. Root causes and power dynamics have to be discovered and addressed.
People need to be supported with the right information, knowledge and skills to take ownership over solutions. United Edge plans from the outset to become gradually more obsolete as the project progresses, so that ownership is completely handed over.
We have seen the harm done when well-intentioned projects repeat the same mistakes. That’s why we make sure projects are designed to adapt quickly to changes in evidence about what works and what doesn’t.
It also means we actively look for unintended consequences of our work, test assumptions, talk about failures and run pilots and small trials. Innovation doesn’t come from a spark of inspiration. It comes from insight gained through active learning, critical thinking and good research.