Thinking about using the social web to do democratic things…..

RSA Catalyst Project: Network of Networks

It is now some time since we got the RSA catalyst award and this post is an attempt to kickstart this work. Its also preparation for a project meeting we have later today so its just in time blogging. The project is seeking to address three questions: What is the simplest thing we can do to connect all the many excellent civic networks we can find in Brighton? How can we give that network of networks a stronger...

In which I put my faith in humans

This is the write of up of the session I ran with Davy Jones at CityCamp Brighton in which we asked three questions: What is the simplest thing we can do to connect all the many excellent civic networks we can find in Brighton? How can we give that network of networks a stronger voice? Is the process of connecting these networks repeatable in other places – what can we learn? These questions form the basis...

Build relationships not structures

The Fremont Troll – Community co-production at its finest. I went to hear Jim Diers speak last week – it was brilliant – many thanks to Colin Miller and BHCC for arranging it. I am still trying to get hold of the slides and will share them when I do but I wanted to blog about the event while it was still fresh in my mind. Jim Diers  was Director of the Office of Neighbourhoods in Seattle,...

We Action Research Here

One of the items we have put in our proposal for Creative Councils is the suggestion that we host an Action Research network looking at the emergent changes in the way in which officers and members are interacting with citizens.  Following a fascinating meeting with some local community engagement experts and councillors last week I wanted to let more people know what we are up to as there are lots of opportunities...

Brunswick community meeting and the promise of cake

Last night we held our second community meeting for We Live Here in the lovely Electika Cafe on Western Road (yes – that was a plug – it is lovely and they were kind enough to open for us in the evening – they also followed through on our project meeting promise of cake at every meeting). This was for the Brunswick site – which was originally Brunswick and Regency until we realised (though...

Identity and Democratic Deliberation

This post is partially a write up of the identity session I curated at #UKGovCamp and partially a framing piece to help take forwards our discussions about how we handle the question of identity within the We Live Here Project and Citizenscape development more generally. Huge thanks to everyone who participated in the session. The UKGovCamp covered a lot of ground and was fascinating for me – not the least because...

Action Research Reflection with a little Agile thrown in

This is by way of a short Action Research reflection so if you are not interested in that kind of thing then move along! Next post will be the write-up of the Agile session at #UKGC12 and much more practical I promise. I have been mulling on the tension between co-production and Action Research and the need to separate one’s desire to keep the experiment intact at the same time as being open to other...

We live exactly here on a map

This is another action research note on We Live Here – the Brighton and Hove Creative Councils project. You can read previous posts here. The last few weeks have been spent in parallel project planning and also starting the community mapping exercise. We had a really good team meeting last week where we cleared a lot of ground which was great. Our next milestone will be a first workshop with external...

Open comments to match open process

This is by way of a reflection on the creative councils programme and process rather than our specific project which I have covered off here.  I meant to post it last week but as ever events overtook me and I got distracted…. First off though – the team that NESTA put together was excellent and the event ran in a very open and collaborative way.  My thoughts here are really from the point of view of...

We Still Live Here even after going to Birmingham

I spent a couple of days last week with the We Live Here Team at the Creative Councils Camp in Birmingham so this post is an attempt to capture some thoughts from the experience.  My first thought is that I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the team – thank you all…. The point of the camp was to help the 17 ideas that have been chosen for development time to explore their projects and to start...

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