Starting from the establishment of the Jubilee Centre in Cambridge 25 years ago, a growing number of people, in both public life and universities, are interested in and support Relational Thinking. These include economists (in the IMF,government organisations and large corporates), academic and practising lawyers, men and women in business, professionals in the health, education and criminal justice sectors, and civil servants.
The research and campaigning work of the Jubilee Centre led to a number of other initiatives and charities being established in the UK:
- The Keep Sunday Special Campaign (www.keepsundayspecial.org.uk) successfully defeated Mrs Thatcher’s efforts in 1986 to deregulate Sunday Trading totally (the only time the Prime Minister was defeated on an entire government bill).
- Credit Action (www.creditaction.org.uk) has worked since 1987 with churches and public bodies, including many financial institutions, to teach money management and help prevent people from getting into unmanageable debt.
- The Relationships Foundation (www.relationshipsfoundation.org) was set up in 1993 as a Think Tank to develop Relational Thinking and engage with policymakers.
- Citylife (www.citylifeltd.org) has raised over £10m since 1996 through “employmentbonds” in Newcastle, Sheffield, South Wales and East London to tackle urban unemployment in those cities, leveraging in an additional £25m from public sector sources.
- Concordis International and its predecessors (www.concordis-international.org) have run high-level peace initiatives since 1987 in South Africa, Rwanda and Sudan.
In recent years, the staff of the Relationships Foundation and Jubilee Centre have begun to extend these ideas globally. People in more than 70 countries receive materials from the Jubilee Centre, which inspired the establishment of the Sychar Centre in Kenya. The Relationships Foundation helped launch Relationships Forum Australia, and similar initiatives are emerging in the US, South Africa, Singapore and Malaysia.
This growing interest from many other countries indicates the credibility and relevance of the Jubilee Centre and Relationships Foundation approach – due not only to its social, economic and theological research but also to its effective policy engagement in the UK and Australia. The need for such an approach is highlighted as the world grows smaller; as a result of the internet, national values and policies are influenced increasingly by what is happening in other parts of the world.
Consequently,in 2008 steps were made to set up a new organisation to develop the international work started by the Jubilee Centre and Relationships Foundation, and Relationships Global was launched officially in 2009.