Social by Social

A community around using social tech for social impact

Discussion on our original group - and other conversations I've had - suggests there is strong interest in making the most of the various national programmes to support local communities, through great collaboration. I've listed the main national ones here - Community Voices (Media Trust); DC10plus; Local 2.0 (Young Foundation); RSA Connected Communities; Talk About Local; Timely Information to Citizens; IDeA/local authorities - and will add more.
It looks as if the Department for Communities and Local Government - which funds several of the programmes - may well help in convening workshops. More news soon, I hope. Meanwhile, do drop a comment to confirm any previous, or new interest.

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Thanks for everyone's contributions so far - it's great that so many people out there have so much enthusiasm.

Based on some of things people have said, and some earlier conversations with David and others, I thought I would jot down some of the thoughts we have been having on how an event might look - just to stimulate thoughts and ideas, rather than to try to set anything in stone:

Type of event
A mixed up / “unconference” type of event – the more mixed up the better!
Question - how many people? Bring everyone together straight away, or have a staged process, with a small initial event for just some of the key players, bring in a wider group later?

A possible staging could be:

1. project leaders in government, to develop a shared understanding of tech and community issues, possibly with social media demos
2. meeting of government plus outside project leaders to do mapping
3. these plus anyone else, such as practitioners around the country – either all together or in a series of joint events on particular themes or projects

Issues here around resources – the more events we hold, the more difficult it is to find the resources and manpower in CLG. Perhaps others could step in to host the follow up stages


When/where
Hopefully before the end of October; probably in London (at least for the 1st event, if this is a staged process) – not because I think this is where the best stuff is happening, but for ease of organisation. But if anyone else would like to propose an alternative please do so…

Agenda and aims
• Mixing up – bringing people together outside of their usual circles; help check out where projects could combine forces on research, events, toolkit development and so on
• Is there – as Paul Nash has suggested – supply side overcapacity and therefore opportunity to save resources through reducing duplication and coordinating efforts?
• How can social tech help projects to bring in external expertise and involve end users in their design and delivery?

that's enough for now. I expect David and others will have lots to say on this next week....
Thanks Anthonio for further ideas on events - I'll catch up later this week. Meanwhile Talk About Local are first of the national programmes to announce their plans for the autumn here and on the events page. It is a free "unconference" in Stoke on October 3, which means content will be mainly be designed by those attending. While the event is mainly for those running, or planning to run local sites, there appears to be a fairly open invite to anyone who can offer help.
David/Antonio, this work looks like it could be really useful in mapping out and connecting a lot of people who are doing some excellent work in local communities.

I would certainly like to get involved with these proposed workshops. I work in the Democratic Engagement branch of the Ministry of Justice and I can see quite a lot of overlap here with some of the projects we are involved with. In particular, we fund a number of initiatives through our Building Democracy Innovation Fund which aim to pioneer new ways to get people engaged. We are now in the third year of this fund and quite a few of the projects we have supported this year, and in previous years, are focussed on local communities.

I know that the project managers would relish the opportunity to meet up with people doing similar things, find out what else is going on and explore possible areas for collaboration. Just from being put in contact with other fund winners, many of our projects have ended up pursuing some joint work. Aside from the funding, the main thing a lot of the project winners were looking for in getting involved with the MoJ was to make new connections, and these workshops would be an excellent opportunity for them to do so.

From my point of view, it would be useful to meet with other people, inside and out of government, who are running initiatives with similar objectives to our own. I will look to extend the invite to anyone else I know across other government departments who are involved in similar work.

In terms of how the event(s) could/should be run, I think that Antonio's staged approach sounds good although I'm interested to hear what others have to say about this. If there were a series of events then I could potentially look into hosting one at the MoJ.
Hi again everyone

I have booked a room at the Department of Communities and Local Government (Eland House, London) on the afternoon of Sept 21 for the first event.

The Department, in association with Social by Social and the localcommunities network, would therefore like to invite project/programme leaders, both within and outside government, to map who's doing what, explore new collaborations and how to get synergy, take up, etc.

I say first event – but actually this will be preceded on Friday 18th by a social media demo for colleagues in CLG and other departments to help them to get up to speed in all this! I know I could do with this and I’d like to extend this invite to any colleagues in MoJ or BIS in a similar situation.

Who do we think should come? Well whoever is keen, but the vision here is for this to be an opportunity for people involved in key projects at a programme level to do some initial mapping. This will probably include key people from CLG, MoJ, BIS - plus Talk about Local, Media Trust, Young Foundation, RSA, IDeA and NESTA. If you think you/your organisation could contribute, please sign up, but don't worry if you are not involved at this stage as there will be other opportunities to be involved – one of the outputs from the workshop will be ideas on how to fill the gaps, which will probably incllude other events, involving a wider group of people isuch as practitioners, to look at particular themes or projects.

And this event will be followed by Talk About Local in Stoke on October 3 (http://localcommunities.ning.com/events/talk-about-local-unconference), and probably a Media Trust/Young Foundation event later in the autumn.

At the moment we’re limited by room size to 30 people - if many more people wanted to come, we’d have to rethink location and consider how a bigger event might work, but I’ll keep you all posted on that.

If you are interested in this, or the social media demo, please sign up - I'll add both events to this site straight away (well as soon as I can, anyway). I’ll be away from work from 27 August until 14 September, but others will also be monitoring the site and I'll take an occasional look too when I can and try to respond to any messages I receive.
Thanks Antonio - really excited to be working with you on this, and with the other programmes. See you now have signup here. I'm on hols for 10 days, but will be dropping in, subject to connectivity in Tewksbury. (Currently finding wifi on National Express coach to Cheltenham very good),
If we need a space to discuss/develop workshop agendas there's a group here.
I've also set up a social reporters group over here, because I think (well, hope) that community and social reporting will be strong theme in programmes.
Hi Antonio,

sorry i havent contributed sooner. The outline you have set up is great and either myself or Saffron Woodcraft from the Young Foundation will be able to participate on the 21st. Thanks for organising this. Once everyone is back from hols we can discuss how we can contribute with an event later in the Autumn.

thanks,

Manny.

Antonio Irranca said:
Hi again everyone

I have booked a room at the Department of Communities and Local Government (Eland House, London) on the afternoon of Sept 21 for the first event.

The Department, in association with Social by Social and the localcommunities network, would therefore like to invite project/programme leaders, both within and outside government, to map who's doing what, explore new collaborations and how to get synergy, take up, etc.

I say first event – but actually this will be preceded on Friday 18th by a social media demo for colleagues in CLG and other departments to help them to get up to speed in all this! I know I could do with this and I’d like to extend this invite to any colleagues in MoJ or BIS in a similar situation.

Who do we think should come? Well whoever is keen, but the vision here is for this to be an opportunity for people involved in key projects at a programme level to do some initial mapping. This will probably include key people from CLG, MoJ, BIS - plus Talk about Local, Media Trust, Young Foundation, RSA, IDeA and NESTA. If you think you/your organisation could contribute, please sign up, but don't worry if you are not involved at this stage as there will be other opportunities to be involved – one of the outputs from the workshop will be ideas on how to fill the gaps, which will probably incllude other events, involving a wider group of people isuch as practitioners, to look at particular themes or projects.

And this event will be followed by Talk About Local in Stoke on October 3 (http://localcommunities.ning.com/events/talk-about-local-unconference), and probably a Media Trust/Young Foundation event later in the autumn.

At the moment we’re limited by room size to 30 people - if many more people wanted to come, we’d have to rethink location and consider how a bigger event might work, but I’ll keep you all posted on that.

If you are interested in this, or the social media demo, please sign up - I'll add both events to this site straight away (well as soon as I can, anyway). I’ll be away from work from 27 August until 14 September, but others will also be monitoring the site and I'll take an occasional look too when I can and try to respond to any messages I receive.
Hi Antonio,

We're very keen to take part on the 21st Sept! Would be great to share work in progress on Community Voices (CLG funded) and continue to contribute to collaboration / cross-pollination (our phrase of the week) efforts on projects with similar goals.

Thank you for helping to co-ordinate and look forward to the opportunity to meet with several of you all under the same roof.

Jess Medling (Media Trust)
Thanks everyone for your enthusiastic support for the workshop(s). I've you can come, please rsvp now on the event page so that we know likely numbers and can start discussion on who might contribute what. On that front, Amy has posted a suggested framework for the September 21 workshop over here. Please add your ideas.
Have signed-up and looking forward to the meeting on 21st Sept. I'm interested in identifying synergies with the Khub project, which (once procured and operational) will provide facilities for local communities to develop their own value-add applications and mashups using Khub data - e.g. best schools, care homes mashed with Google Maps etc.
Thanks Steve, I've copied that over to the post with the workshop outline, hoping it will interest others in a discussion on the dfay.

Stephen Dale said:
Have signed-up and looking forward to the meeting on 21st Sept. I'm interested in identifying synergies with the Khub project, which (once procured and operational) will provide facilities for local communities to develop their own value-add applications and mashups using Khub data - e.g. best schools, care homes mashed with Google Maps etc.
My interest is in developing enterprise cultures in local communities (NB this might or might not include starting businesses). Very interested in the role of social capital and connectivity in supporting enterprise and progress.

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