SWC is a Non-Profit Company (NPC) focussing on eco-social development and works on the principle that solving 21st Century challenges requires new, innovative organsiations in order to implement new approaches - that 20th Century organisations and approaches will not sovle 21st Century problems. Subscribing to the understanding that 'business as usual' is the cause of, and exacerbates the challenges that the planet is facing both ecologically and socio-economically and that as Ghandi said 'we need to BE the change we want to see in the world' SWC strives to organise ourself and run our programmes in a manner that challenges the dominant paradigm and explores a 'different' way. Whilst this is no easy task, and often confounds outsiders including funders, we are rethinking what it means to be an organisation and challenging conventional understandings about 'bringing development' by imposing from the outside. The evidence of failed 'development' programmes and projects worldwide is overwhelming. For us this does not only mean that somehow 'development' has to be done differently but that the organisations and approaches drivng the 'development' also have to be transformed from 20th Century thinking.
SWC is a registered Non-Profit Company in order to comply with existing legislation as well as meeting the needs of funders and authorities for strict financial accountability, legal compliance and reporting. To this end we provide fully audited organisational accounts based in the First Economy (Exclusive Economy) whilst respecting, and operating in the Second Economy (Inclusive Economy) locally. To operate 'differently', the organisation functions without fixed infrastructure or employees and therefore has minimal ongoing 'sunk' operational costs; we mobilise capacity through a network of volunteers and contractors to specific projects. All funds are spent on local scale implementation of programmes that create the space for local people to envision and choose their own futures. Our key principle here is the belief that local solutions are found locally within the context of that socio-ecological landscape and that only from this basis can sustainable programmes emerge. In working within and with the local system and strengthening internal and later external connections, local cultural convention is respected and utilised to bring out local knowledge, ideas and preferences before introducing relevant external knowledge and practices to guide the programmes in their interactions with external forces and collaboratively into the future.
SWC fully recognises the challenges introduced through our non-formal approaches. One of the key challenges is working with funders to enable recognition that without salaried employees in oversight roles, funding budgets must of necessity include components for oversight: project management, administration and reporting in line with the formal requirements of the funders. It is very important for SWC to develop relationships with funders who are in themselves prepared to think (and act) out of the box in the granting of funds in order to find sustainable solutions to socio-ecological challenges.