Civil Society Futures

Paul Hamlyn Foundation is one of of seven leading independent funders that have come together to support Civil Society Futures (an independent inquiry into the future of civil society). In doing so, we hope to encourage a national conversation about how English civil society can flourish in a fast changing world.


Through community events, academic research and online debate, Civil Society Futures will create a space for a much needed conversation among those involved in all forms of civic action – from informal networks to vast charities, Facebook groups to faith groups. Considering how both the nature of civil society and the context it exists in are changing fast, we will investigate how to maximise the positive effects of civic action and provide a guide to how to release its potential to drive positive change.

Change has always been inevitable: it is the only constant in history. It brings vast opportunities as well as risks. But citizens and our organisations must find ways to understand it, to grasp it and to shape it. And that is what this inquiry is about.

Together, we will develop a clear vision for the role of civil society in England for the next 10 years.

Chaired by Julia Unwin CBE, the Inquiry is due to conclude in early 2019.