Following our very gentle relaunch last week, we’ve been overwhelmed with the response, comments, and emails that the team has received. We’ve also been asked a lot of questions, so here is our attempt to answer as many as possible…
Open Minds 2.0. What’s changed?
Since our launch in 2015, we’re proud of everything that the charity, its board, and its team have achieved. We’ve taken some big steps in becoming the go-to leader for information on coercive control and built some great relationships too. What we realised however is that our impact was not as big as we hoped, and that we needed to do more to make change happen.
At the beginning of 2020, just in time for the pandemic, the Board took the view that we needed to step back, regroup, and re-establish our purpose, in order to be able to make a bigger impact. We did just that, and the result is the new and improved Open Minds Foundation. We haven’t changed our priorities – we still care about combatting coercive control – but we have changed our objectives, in particular focussing on the education of young people where we can really make a difference.
You’ve added in critical thinking. Why?
Ultimately, our vision is a world without coercive control, and to achieve that, we need the world to get better at teaching critical thinking, to help prevent and undermine coercion. We want to foster intelligent disobedience and encourage individuals to understand and acknowledge how and why they know something to be true. We believe that this will ultimately have the biggest impact on tackling the problem of coercive control, so we see the two things going hand in hand.
You mention education. How?
Studies highlight that young people are impressionable and therefore the most likely to be coercively controlled. They are also the most resilient and adaptable to learning new things and therefore likely to embrace critical thinking. Our education agenda is in its infancy, but so far we have started working with two exceptional educators, who are devising the program for our education, and working to align it with the UK and US curricula initially. We will then produce the relevant resources for children, teachers, and parents, to help teach and practise these skills. We will shortly be launching our Education page with up-to-date information, and we welcome input from others as we embark on this journey.
You had so much great information before. Has it gone?
Absolutely not. We might have shifted our focus a little bit, but we don’t want to lose all the great content we have built up, or the relationships we have established along the way. The content you see now is a bit more streamlined initially for those who are new to the site, but if you have a dig around, you will still find all the old blog posts and all the old content there too. Enjoy.
Is it new people behind Open Minds Foundation?
No. While there are a few new faces, as is important for any charity, many of our familiar faces are still contributing at board and advisory level. We want to retain their help, knowledge, and enthusiasm, and are delighted to still be working with many of the original team. New faces are also welcome, so if you would like to help, why not look at our volunteering opportunities.
Is it still a charity?
Absolutely. We are still a registered charity, and all of our funding comes from private donations, for which we are very grateful. Every single one of our supporters has made these changes possible, and we know they appreciate our desire to make a bigger impact. We’re still the same great charity, just with a little bit extra purpose that we hope will achieve even bigger results. If you feel able to support us, please consider making a donation.
There are some gaps on the website.
The website is definitely a work in progress and is getting bigger and better every day. If you see something we can add, or if you spot an error, please do let us know. We welcome every contribution to help us further our aims.