In an article published on PublicService.co.uk, Atif Safiqu of RSA argues that the public sector does not exist outside the larger economy:
he conceptual silos between market, state and society continue, and economic growth is seldom discussed alongside calls for improving public services. Often, people across the political divide frame these debates in overly simplistic, dichotomous ways: for example, seeing the private sector as a creator of wealth and the public sector as a spender of, and for some a drain (or a check) on, it.
Enterprise is caricatured as solely profit-maximising, despite the demonstrable potential of ‘shared value’ business models and the rise of social organisations and businesses that seek both financial and social returns. The public sector is caricatured as a top-down monolith, even as a blend of social and market mechanisms increasingly shape how services will be commissioned and provided in the future. And civil society is seen through the lens of charity and volunteering, even as charities look to build sustainable business models and a bourgeoning sector of social ‘entrepreneurs’ try to find innovative, enterprising solutions to societal challenges. At a practical level this broad acknowledgement of the collective importance of social goals and entrepreneurial aptitude provides the potential to bring together the state, the market and society for a collaborative and constructive approach to reforming capitalism.