Listening to communities 25.02.11 (FINAL)
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Listening to communities 25.02.11 (FINAL)

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Presentation at the Listening to Communities conference in Kent on 25th February 2011

Presentation at the Listening to Communities conference in Kent on 25th February 2011

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Listening to communities 25.02.11 (FINAL) Listening to communities 25.02.11 (FINAL) Presentation Transcript

  • Virtual Civic Spaces Bringing communities together Listening Communities Conference 25 th February 2011 Catherine Howe
  • This is not a session about technology The most important thing to remember about the virtual world is that it is actually very real
  • And so are the communities
    • “ New communication media means that new social phenomena are going to arise that differ in significant ways from everything we've known. We are going to have to get used to the idea that the word "community" is going to have to stretch to include groups of people who communicate socially and work together cooperatively and never meet in the real world.”
    • Howard Rheingold, The Virtual Community; Homesteading on the Virtual Frontier
    • ( http://www.rheingold.com/vc/book/ )
    • And that was 10 years ago
    Citizenscape a product by Public-i
  • We are talking about changing the balance in our engagement towards the digital channels
  • The most important thing is making it relevant to the community and finding the conversations that are already happening
  • Why Digitally led?
    • Its cheaper – the cost per transactions are lower, set-up costs are lower and amendments are low cost
    • You reach more people - Digital will help you reach a different audience to the usual suspects of engagement
    • You need to be agile – you can adjust to changes of circumstances far faster with a digitally led strategy
    • Its easier to talk about difficult issues online – it gives voice to people who are not confident in person and find meetings difficult and it can provide an anonymous voice for difficult debates
    • It lasts – you want to leave an ongoing conversation as a legacy of the project
    • Most importantly – people are doing it anyway
  • A short segue on the Network Society
    • Put rather lyrically by Doreen Massy in her book ‘For Space’:
    • “ Multiplicity is fundamental….Space is more than distance. It is the sphere of open-ended configurations within multiplicities. Given that, the really serious question which is raised by speed-up, by ‘the communications revolution’ and by cyberspace, is not whether space will be annihilated but what kinds of multiplicities (patterning's of uniqueness) and relations will be co-constructed with these new kinds of spatial configurations.”
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  • If that was a bit much for a Friday morning
    • The Internet is having a profound effect on society – we are moving from an industrial to an information or networked age
    • This means there is a pressure on old ways of working
    • Think about the millennial generation who have been brought up expecting information and responsiveness to be constantly and immediately available
    • The internet culture is colliding with our traditional structures and putting huge pressure on them
    Citizenscape a product by Public-i
  • What are they be doing? Citizenscape a product by Public-i
  • What are they be doing? Citizenscape a product by Public-i http://microsites.oii.ox.ac.uk/oxis/
  • What are they doing? Citizenscape a product by Public-i http://www.forrester.com/empowered/tool_consumer.html
  • The Social Web has its own culture Citizenscape a product by Public-i
    • “ Until we rebuild, both from the bottom up and from the top down, our institutes of governance and democracy, we will not be able to stand up to the fundamental challenges that we are facing”
    • Manuel Castells, The Internet Galaxy
    Citizenscape a product by Public-i
  • What does this mean on a more practical level?
    • Today virtual communities are as likely to gather together people who live on the same street and those that live thousands of miles apart
    • “ In a context of a world which is, indeed, increasingly interconnected the notion of place (usually evoked as ‘local place’) has come to have totemic resonance.”
    • Doreen Massey
    • Hyperlocal communities connect people separated by time and not necessarily space
    • Three useful references:
      • Networked Neighbourhoods: http://networkedneighbourhoods.com/
      • Talk about Local: http://talkaboutlocal.org.uk/
      • Podnosh: http://podnosh.com/
    Citizenscape a product by Public-i
  • Not forgetting digital inclusion
    • Its complex – and its still an issue:
      • Ten million of us in the UK have never used the internet.
      • Four million of those who are offline are society’s most disadvantaged
    • But when we get there we participate:
      • One fifth (21%) of Internet users undertook at least one civic action on the Internet
      • Once retired people are online they are more likely than students or employed users to be civically engaged.
    • And we have reached the tipping point with this channel
      • 40m adults in the UK use the web, and 30 million of us do so daily.
      • This is about changing the balance – not ignoring the other channels
    Citizenscape a product by Public-i
  • The social web is about the people and the content This is no longer a question of getting people to visit your space – you need to engage with them in theirs
  • And there are a variety of conversations going on Citizenscape: a product by Public-i
  • Mainstream tools – don’t build stuff that already exists Citizenscape a product by Public-i
  • This is what we think it looks like Citizenscape a product by Public-i
  • Unexpected things will happen
    • You can no longer expect to be able to broadcast your message without a conversational channel
    • If you genuinely want to create ongoing dialogue and engagement then you need to listen
    • There will be good and bad surprises – enjoy the upside and manage the risk
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  • At the heart of this are really fantastic events Citizenscape a product by Public-i
  • And the right digital wrapper Citizenscape a product by Public-i
  • Our objective it that when you leave the conversations continue
  • Openly Local Citizenscape a product by Public-i http://openlylocal.com/hyperlocal_sites
  • Buckshaw Village Forum Citizenscape a product by Public-i http://www.buckshawvillage.com/
  • Harringay Online Citizenscape a product by Public-i http://www.harringayonline.com/
  • Brighton Issues Forum Citizenscape a product by Public-i http://forums.e-democracy.org/groups/bh
  • I Love Tunbridge Wells Citizenscape a product by Public-i http://anke.blogs.com/
  • Admiral’s Way, Test Valley Citizenscape a product by Public-i http://www.admiralsway.org.uk/
  • Bourneville Village Citizenscape a product by Public-i http://bournvillevillage.com/
  • None of these have been created or run by the Council though they may have been helped
  • Previously you controlled the resources and so you knew you would be involved How will you make sure you are an essential part in the process?
  • People are talking…… ……they’re just not talking to you
  • Why should I care when I am facing massive budget cuts?
  • Because you need to stay relevant
    • You know you need to be part of your community to lead it effectively
    • You know you need to understand the culture in order to be able to support it – the social web is in fact another country and most people are in the process of moving there
    Citizenscape a product by Public-i
  • There are incremental savings to be made
    • But the real prize in terms of cost savings is around co-production of services
      • Change the way in which you work with the public
      • Enable them to look after themselves to a far greater extent
      • Yes….this is the Big Society
  • Because the conversations will happen anyway Its government’s responsibility to make sure the outcomes are democratic
  • Co-production – what do you mean?
    • Co-production: Involving all participants in both the design and delivery of a service
      • It describes a new kind of relationship with the public – one where we expect them to act not just comment
    • And some references:
      • http://www.nesta.org.uk/publications/assets/features/the_challenge_of_co-production
      • http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/co-production-people-outside-paid-employment
      • http://www.govint.org/
    Citizenscape a product by Public-i
  • To do this you need a co-productive space LOCAL CIVIC SPACE Presented by Catherine Howe, Chief Executive Public-i
  • For example….. Citizenscape: a product by Public-i
  • As your communities start to self organise more effectively you need to understand where you add value to this process Its not about resources anymore
  • Citizenscape a product by Public-i Citizenscape a product by Public-i | Presented to Client x public-i.info/citizenscape Thank you for your time
    • Catherine Howe, Chief Executive, Public-i Group Ltd
      • [email_address]
      • http://Wordpress.curiouscatherine.com
      • @curiousc