Over the last 2 days the Podnosh team hosted 24 science communicators from across Europe. They were in Birmingham as part of the Open Places project which is looking at bringing together 69 science communication institutions and other stakeholders in European cities to partner with local policy makers to tackle socio-economic issues such as employment; education; climate change and poverty from a scientific perspective.We met with them to discuss social media and the ways in which it can be useful to them in their workplaces or on this and other specific projects.
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.
One coincidence – Michael Overduin, who asked me to compile the initial story on the surgeries – hails from Ontario.
These are my links for January 27th through February 4th:
- Peter Levine: a critique of expertise, part 1 – “Although I acknowledge the value of expertise, we can identify several important general reasons why it is never enough and we always need citizens’ participation to tackle social problems.” Thanks to Paul Evans for spotting this.
- ColaLife principle: local determination : ColaLife – Simon working through the principles behind Cola Life – interesting.
- Thriving too: The Impact of Isolation on Leadership – It is lonely at the top. We are coming to realise exactly how loneliness effects our brain and our behaviours.
- Link “Scientists” –
- The Young Commentators « Stan’s Cafe Theatre Company – Stans Cafe teaching school children the art of commentary : sometimes silence says more than words ever can
- Danny Smith: Tag nuts – Birmingham: It’s Not Shit – Umh