Hand Made – “new community culture”, the social media surgery and Militant Optimists.

Posted on 11th September 2010 by

I’m proud.  The picture above is of a lovely thing Tessy Britton has sent me – the gift of a book.  She asked 28 people (including me) to write about their experiments in community.  My chapter is on Social Media Surgeries. The combined result is a wonderful book:

Tessy writes:

Largely (but not exclusively) these projects by-pass existing ‘systems’.  They start with little or no money and ask for no permissions….Small they may be, but they represent the seeds of an emergent culture which I believe is going to spread, so potent is the glow created from the human interactions these projects generate.

The surgeries are spreading. As I write this I’m on the train to London, to speak at Open Tech (another great example of community culture stuffed full or people working on “stuff” that matters) about them.  Rootling around in the back end of www.socialmediasurgery.com I find (and this site doesn’t record it all) that:

  • 30 people have become “surgery managers”  (the people who set them up – run them – keep them friendly and happy)
  • 168 people have registered as surgeons (helpers)
  • 506 people have attended a surgery somewhere

They are running in

  • 34 places – 28 in the UK plus South Africa, Spain, USA, Eire and India.

We launched the site in July.

These people belong to something that David Barrie describes in his chapter in the book as the Thirteenth Tribe of community life – “Militant Optimists”:

One thing that makes life worth living is … people who are committed to improving society, prepared to organize and give it a go.

Hand Made: portraits of emergent new community can be bought from blurb.

The authors are:

David Gauntlett
Megan Deal and Friends
David Barrie
Rob Hopkins
Jerry Stein
Nick Booth
Jack Ricchiuto
June Holley
Ryan LeCluyse
Tracey Todhunter
Jack Forinash and Friends
Julian Dobson
Tom Andrews
Hannah Bullock and Tim Smit
Sarah Drummond and Friends
Andy Gibson
David Burns, Matias Viegener and Austin Young
Peter Sergeant
Caroline Woolard and Friends
Louise Macdonald and David Key
Anab Jain and Chris Hand
Lloyd Davis
Dougald Hine
Edmund Colville and Friends
Matthias Regan and Friends
Chris Kennedy and Kate Cahill
Cassie Robinson
Tessy Britton

6 Responses to Hand Made – “new community culture”, the social media surgery and Militant Optimists.

  1. [...] Hat-tip: Podnosh ] ← 20 photos of Stoke-on-Trent’s new sixth-form [...]

  2. New Book « says:

    [...] new book Hand Made. You can buy your own copy here and read a review by one of the contributors Nick Booth. My contribution tells the story of the founding of the Low Carbon Communities Network. Although I [...]

  3. laura horniblow says:

    Wow this looks interesting!

  4. [...] Britton’s book ‘Hand Made’ has more than a dozen stories of grassroots projects and is very [...]

  5. [...] Channel – capturing the stories of active citizens. In many ways (inspired by another book called Hand Made)  about militant optimism,  about people doing things because they care, sometimes against the [...]

  6. [...] Nick started the proceedings thanking everyone and introducing Tessy Britton , as really she is the inspiration for the Community Lovers Guide series after she put together Hand Made. [...]

Tell us what you think