From the Chief Executive, December 2019

Sarb Bajwa writes.

It was the second annual meeting of the BPS Senate in Leicester recently and, after three fantastic proposals by expert members and plenty of lively discussion and debate, our member network representatives voted for a new campaigning priority to be taken forward over the next year.

The winning topic, ‘From poverty to flourishing’, is perfect for us to highlight the impact that psychological approaches can have, both in terms of tackling huge societal problems such as poverty and helping people to achieve their full potential.

That so many people in our country are living in poverty is completely unacceptable for a rich, developed nation, and I know that our members will be able to contribute lots of ideas on how psychological thinking can help to lift people out of it.

The proposal was put forward by members including Esther Cohen-Tovee and Julia Faulconbridge, and you can hear from them elsewhere in this month’s issue on why the timing of this campaign makes sense, and what solutions psychology may have to offer.

While it was the campaign on poverty that ultimately won the argument at Senate, the presentations on older people and prevention were excellent and would both have been worthy winners of the vote.

One of the key aims of the BPS Senate is to encourage collaborative working among our members and between specialism and, with so many older people unfortunately living in poverty and prevention key to any approach, I am sure that the expertise from those proposals will now feed into this one.

Our policy team are already planning the next steps for the campaigning, which will involve recruiting for an expert reference group in the near future.

This group will bring together the expertise and knowledge which our members have, and be responsible for driving forward the proposal and achieving real results over the next year.

It’s a fantastic opportunity for members to get involved with our work to influence key areas, and I encourage any of you who work in this area or have the relevant expertise to get involved and apply to join the group.

Our Senate campaigns are designed to make the Society more democratic than it has ever been before, so if you have any ideas on what our approach should be, please get in touch.

Sarb Bajwa is Chief Executive of the British Psychological Society. Contact him at [email protected]

BPS Members can discuss this article

Already a member? Or Create an account

Not a member? Find out about becoming a member or subscriber