SACU 2065 is a program designed to deliver the next generation of governance to The Society...

Objective

SACU’s mission is to promote understanding and advance the education of the UK public in all aspects of China and the Chinese People and to help Chinese People understand all aspects of the UK and British people - promoting friendship and mutual respect between the people’s of China and the UK. On SACU’s half centenary, its Council began to reflect on the future direction of SACU and its management.

Three main ways of working have been outlined: membership growth and support; networking opportunities; and strategic partnerships and links. Project 2065’s objective is to fit SACU for its next 50 years, to continue, as Liu Xiaoming Chinese Ambassador said, its mandate ".... to carry forward, in this new age and with new ideas, the lofty cause of bridging gaps and strengthening bonds."

SACU has been able to function well with the dedicated support of Council Officers who believe in and drive forward SACU’s mission. Through its Council these individuals have decided to restructure core management systems to ensure safety through shared access, reduce time spent on managing the current systems and improve efficiency for the future of SACU and its future Officers. We want to maximise our effectiveness through social media and have an organisational governance structure that fits us to manage "... in this new age and with new ideas"

Goals

Our challenge is to build a robust future proof organization with systems that require very little money to run them and which will support us with our ambitious programme of activities and help us grow our membership in size and diversity.

We have identified a few ambitions and approaches, which are principles that will guide Council as we seek to develop SACU for the next 50 years and these are set out in the paragraph below. However the Priorities for the SACU 2065 Project Team are (a) setting up the Virtual Office and associated governance arrangements and (b) taking advantage of social media and the intranet in a more systematic way.

Principles guiding SACU’s development

    • SACU is a membership organization and we will continue to build a strongly committed and connected membership, which is maintained through a network of active branches. The size is not so important, but we wish it to continue to grow - the critical thing is that all members support the vision and feel active in the Society. 
    • we intend to shift the focus from thinking the Society needs to provide benefit to its members to one which creates an “ask” of members  - that they do something to promote the aims and objectives of SACU.  If people feel they are giving and contributing it builds strong bonds of connectedness.
    • The new membership database needs to have the capacity to develop and maintain a separate large supporters database. Supporters would have a different relationship to the organization from Members, they might for example follow SACU on Twitter, UTube or WeChat, but are crucially one of the chief ways we deliver our mission.
    • we want to renew SACU’s role in promoting educational tours to China, by providing a series of educational tours in addition to the current bi-annual tours when we connect with organisations in China that share our mission e.g. CPAFFC. Such a development would be in partnership with a travel agent.
    • we want to recapture some of SACU's original purpose which was education in its broadest sense, not just the organised educational tours of China but also for example Chinese Language teaching. This would require further exploration including the connection with the Confucius Institutes and could also link us to the many UK schools where Chinese is now being taught.
    • in this new age there is a role for SACU in bridging gaps and strengthening bonds between British people and Chinese people in the UK. People-to-People friendship and understanding has been a core part of SACU's mission since inception and with growing numbers of Chinese People making their way in the UK, SACU has a role in supporting them with friendship and understanding as well as education in all aspects of living in UK.

Solution

The SACU 2065 Project Team has been set up to manage SACU’s transition to a more digitalised easy-to-manage organisation. All officers’ work and material is to be stored in a virtual office space to (a) ensure security backup and with appropriate shared access to (b) increase collective accountability. In addition the virtual office space, linked to the development of the website, will make it easier for SACU Council "... in this new age and with new ideas" to (c) take advantage of the opportunities which digital communication and social media offer.