John Hitchin, Renaisi’s CEO writes week notes to capture and reflect on the realities of running a social enterprise.

Complete lack of balance

My partner has been ill for just over a week. Nothing COVID-related, but she’s had to rest quite a lot. That means I’ve been doing nursery drop-offs and pickups for the four-year-old, naps for the nearly one-year-old, and everything else, in between work, and then working until midnight once they’re in bed. While I’ve definitely been doing more childcare than I was before lockdown on work-days, my partner’s work dropping off had meant that we had found a way to create a kind of balance during and coming out of lockdown between our work and childcare. Not this week.

New role

We advertised a new role this week, for a Southwark Social Economy Coordinator.

It’s a significant role for us as it pushes us further in the direction of our strategic objectives around place-based working, and focussing on ‘our’ places of Hackney and Southwark/Lambeth. I am pleased to have moved this on and to be working with partners across Southwark to make it happen.


On the Hackney side of our work, we had a meeting of the procurement leads of the different City and Hackney anchors. I missed it (due to child and diary juggling), but it’s great that the institutions are starting to meet in this way, and we’re keen to push on some of the emerging ideas around shared approaches and shared projects. This all builds on the anchor collaborative work that we put out an update report for a few weeks ago.

Reading, listening and watching

This, on the history of the urban dashboard, is far more interesting than it sounds:

I have never liked musical theatre. At different points in my life, I have been encouraged to go and see shows that I am assured will change my mind. I never have. And so again, with the release of Hamilton available to stream, I have tried. And while I can see, in theory, all the things that people tell me make it wonderful, for me the problem is inherent: I can’t stand musical theatre.

John Hitchin Renaisi CEO