Tag: Dave Harte

Free fair for creative and active citizens in Birmingham

Click on the image to book on the eventbrite page
Click on the image to book on the eventbrite page

Creative Citizens is a project that’s been running for a couple of  years bringing together research and activity around hyperlocal websites and active citizens.  There’s some fine people involved, including Dave Harte (an old friend and collaborator of ours) and one of the researchers has also been investigating motivations behind the brilliant WV11 blog run by our own Steph Clarke and her very fine husband James.

So there is going to be a fair for active citizens and creative citizens organised as part of this programme.  To get a free ticker go here  www.creativecitizensfair.eventbrite.co.uk.

What to expect?  Organiser Jez Turner says :

Thousands of citizens in the UK take part in community projects every day, from citizen journalists to breadmaking collectives, cycling social enterprises to craft makers. If you run a community project, are thinking of starting one, or are just interested in meeting like-minded people, join us at the first Creative Citizens Fair.

Talks will run throughout the day from community and voluntary projects, sharing their experience and tips, with plenty of time for questions.

In the Fair space you can:

  • talk to some of the organisations
  • take part in activities and workshops
  • see the Creative Citizens photo exhibition
  • find people to collaborate with
  • find out about the Creative Citizens research project
  • grab some lunch and coffee

More details at www.creativecitizens.co.uk


The venue is the Impact Hub in Digbeth, which is another home for creative citizens.


Emerging Leaders in London, Ontario Canada and the social media surgery model.

Last week I talked to the Ma Social Media Students at Birmingham City University about social media surgeries for community and voluntary organisations. I was explaining how they emerged from a wide range of activity that was building social capital here in Birmingham.

It’s a story I’ve told before but never really in such a concentrated way – in fact I told it twice in one day. The students were a guinea pig for the talk I was planning to give at Michael Overduin’s Science Capital event on “Networks, Nodes and Knowledge: from local enterprise to global engagement”.

The slides are here but what I’d like to share if what one of Dave Harte’s students made from the talk. Dave shared the whole thing with his overseas students who study the degree remotely. He asked them to:

This week I would like the distance learning students to reflect on the talk by Nick Booth and consider how you might go about setting up a social media surgery in your own town. What would your strategy be? Have a read of Nick Booth’s ‘recipe’ listas a starting point.

Your response should be a short (5-10 mins) video that tells us the following:

  • What’s your town like? – rich? poor? digitally deprived??
  • Is there a way to connect to voluntary groups and community organisations (an umbrella organisation of some sort)?
  • How would you go about connecting to other digitally minded folk to persuade them to help set up a surgery?
  • What’s stopping you doing this?”

This is a question about social capital and innovation, where is it, how does it happen. Can you nurture or grow both.  Dave highlighted one response from Jeff Sage.


Jeff  talked about how a group in London Ontario developed “Emerging Leaders” a network for connecting people.  As yu can see they also work with different agencies in the city to help improve their community.  Principles that struck a chord with the social media surgery ethos include:

never duplicate efforst of others or create silos and making mistakes should be a goal, rather than something you’re tryng to avoid.

Also very much inline with the work Tessy Britton is doing at social spaces and David Barrie’s Militant Optimists,

One coincidence – Michael Overduin, who asked me to compile the initial story on the surgeries – hails from Ontario.

Stuff I've seen August 10th to August 12th

These are my links for August 10th through August 12th:

  • pachube :: connecting environments, patching the planet – Welcome to Pachube, a service that enables you to connect, tag and share real time sensor data from objects, devices, buildings and environments around the world. The key aim is to facilitate interaction between remote environments, both physical and virtual.
  • haque :: design + research – The domain of architecture has been transformed by developments in interaction research, wearable computing, mobile connectivity, people-centered design, contextual awareness, RFID systems and ubiquitous computing. These technologies alter our understanding of space and change the way we relate to each other. We no longer think of architecture as static and immutable; instead we see it as dynamic, responsive and conversant. Our projects explore some of this territory.
  • Introducing GrowthSpur – Recovering Journalist – Wow – very bold claims for growth spur: “How much money? We believe, based on our research and experience, that a well-run, sophisticated local site can bring in more than $100,000 a year in revenue from advertising, e-commerce and other sources. GrowthSpur exists to help local entrepreneurs achieve that level of success—and more.” I suppose it depends what you mean by local.
  • From Grierson to Podnosh – a history of Participation | daveharte.com – This is ridiculously flattering bu also well worth a read: “From the moment we were taught how to white balance a video camera it felt like we were being given tools of dissension – not to be frittered away on shallow subject-matter but rather to be used to tackle dominant ideologies and tear down class structures. Sounds pious now I know but video’s ease of use and its directness felt that enabling. Ultimately we fell a bit short of changing the world but it was fun trying for a period there in the late 1980s.
    So how does the participatory work within Social Media fit into this?”
  • MediaShift . Five Ways to Use Mind-Mapping Tools in the Newsroom | PBS – Very useful post, which, naturally enough, quotes a Brummie.