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

Silhouetted man runnng

After what has been a relentless year, I noticed something in me shift, and things started to catch up with me in the last couple of weeks. But there is plenty more to be done before we get to the Christmas break.


The big news of the last two weeks was announcing that Transitions CIC will be transferring into Renaisi from January 2021. It’s nice to have this out in the open, as we’ve been working on it for quite a while with Sheila and the Transitions team. The process of building a partnership and relationship, and finding the right way through is an important one.

I’m proud that Renaisi has sought to make the partnership work, to take on ideas and new business models in difficult times. I’m also impressed with Sheila, who has been looking for a new home for what she built over the last decade, as she moves forward with the next stage of her life.

Next stages

After gaining some traction with new ideas, such as our work on place-based systemic change, the last few weeks have been about the hard slog of moving those ideas forward. That work requires a different energy, it is harder in some ways, but it is satisfying knowing that it is the work that enables the next step to be taken. You don’t get the rush of a financial or convincing ‘win’, but instead get push back, challenge and questions, which refine and improve things. There’s less ego in this work, but it’s necessary.


Renaisi has invested a lot of time in recent months in creating a package and plan for how we support our team’s wellbeing. This has been a difficult year for many, and I’m pleased with what we have done.

In the last fortnight, I have also spoken with a lot of senior colleagues from other organisations who are struggling. They have thrown themselves into everything all year and tried their best to hold things together but, for whatever reason, are just running short of capacity. Maybe this is what I’m feeling too. It’s reassuring to hear it in others, but it does make you wonder about all the parts of society that have been holding together, and will at some point, bend, break or just need a break.

Reading, listening and watching

Since studying Early Modern History, I’ve always had a thing for Spinoza. I’ve been reading Steven Nadler’s new book on his moral philosophy, Think Least of Death. There’s always more to learn from Spinoza.

And then the usual diet of Podcasts that mainly make me despair for the world. However, I would highly recommend a recent Talking Politics where Adam Tooze talks to Helen Thompson and David Runciman about the post-Covid economy. Listening to Adam Tooze is always an education. Hearing him talk to other brilliant people is a pleasure as well.