Archive for the 'social media' Category

Creating friendly places for the re-emergence of mutualism

SHINE09 gave me a chance to catch up with Ben Metz, UK director of Ashoka, who I last met in December when he spoke in Lisbon, at a social innovation conference, about the emerging ecology of support for social entrepreneurs.

Since then the landscape has changed still further, and not for the better. The collapse of the capital markets makes things tough for any type of entrepreneur. On the other hand, social media enables organisations like Kiva and Zopa to raise funds in a highly distributed fashion.

This opens the way for a shift in the ownership, governance and management of enterprises with, perhaps, increasing interest in mutualism and cooperatives and more concern for values that profit. I summarise …please listen to the interview, where I ramble around and Ben is admirable clear.

We ended up talking about Twitter and similar tools encouraging sharing and a gift economy – because you are only as good as what you give. We agreed (I think) that the task for organisation with members was to create a friendly environment for hard-nosed approaches to soft/gentler living enabling people to learn to live better with each other. Some of this ties in with the discussion recently at a seminar organised by the UK Carnegie Trust, about civil society organisations, where Andy Gibson was promoting mutualism.

Ben is leaving Ashoka, but will still play a part in the social enterprise ecosystem. He’s promising a blog at within a week or two.

Guest post: ideas generation gone comedic

Post from UnLtdWorld‘s Nicola Jones:

So after a thoroughly inspiring “big sheep little sheep” game, I find myself sat in the corner of the Hub with Dave Dawes, Sam Beinhacker and Lucy Wood thinking about the “yes and ” model..the idea that you stop rubbishing other peoples ideas and building on them..

Best way to put this in motion?…ACTION! So we start off with Dave’s Idea of creating an off-license with sells organic beer, but also encourages less alcohol consumption..okay so what next? Well Sam suggests the off-license has AA-sessions…ok so where from there? well ever the alcoholic(!) I suggest we also add in a “recovery and dry out centre” to the centre, which helps people recover from long nights out…so Lucy what can you add…well she reckons the now centre, also has a minibus that goes out to schools in the area and teaches them about responsible consumption of alcohol…so now we’re into education..not enough! says Dave…the minibus will simulate the “ministry of sound” for young people but without alcohol…teaching them it isn’t the be all and end all..

You see where you get?! Love SHINE – its all about these random conversations which inspire whole new ways of thinking..

Morning, morning Shine 09

Coffee cupWell, it’s crept up on me, but Shine 2009 is suddenly here. It’s ridiculously early and I will need a gallon of coffee before I’m capable of speaking to anyone…but what an exciting line-up / participant list we have for today. Check the schedule / details out at

We’ll be reporting all day here on and I will be accompanied by a ragbag assortment of people with much more expertise and knowledge than me (which is always helpful: first tip of the day: surround yourself with excellent people). Including David Wilcox (of this parish, social, Steve Bridger (who I’m yet to meet in person) and other Shine 08 veterans (!) such as Dave Dawes of Entreprenurses, Ben Matthews of Bright One and the irrepressible Darragh Doyle over from Ireland.

There will, I hope, be blog posts to read, video to watch (both Qik and Flip for those of you for whom that means something), photos to admire, and tweets aplenty. The tag for the event is #shine09 so feel free to get involved if you’re coming today or tomorrow, or follow us virtually.

Feel free to come and say hello (SSE will be doing some evaluation 1:1s this afternoon, and acting as unconsultants throughout the day), or say hello in the comments below.

Now, off to find Kings Place, 300+ social entrepreneurs, and that coffee….

Day 3 begins….and a look back at Day 2

Thankfully, no hangover this morning, and it’s another beautiful day here at the ever-more-appropriately named Shine 2008. There was so much going on yesterday that I barely got a chance to sit down and type before being whisked away somewhere…

Some highlights for me:
- the Kaos Pilots living up to their name with their mental refreshment games outside (see the videos via the Qik link to the right)
- the School for Young Social Entrepreneurs co-designing session, led by SSE Fellow Tom Bulman and former SSE CEO James Smith, which also decamped outside; such good engagement and interest that they carried on beyond 5.30pm….
- recording a podcast (with Dave Dawes’ marvellous ‘pocket recording studio’) with the fellow geeks…sorry, social reporters ;0)
- seeing the great 1:1 sessions taking place by the What If-ers, admirably marshalled by James Baderman….as one social entrepreneur said to me “you couldn’t pay for that”, to which James said “actually you could” followed by me saying “but it’s more than £20″….
- the Foundation for Social Improvement (I think)’s session on fundraising was packed out both times in the Clinic, with chairs having to be dragged in from elsewhere…

Overall, despite the beautiful weather luring people outside (is it wrong as an event organiser to pray for rain?), it seemed to go well. As ever the richest stuff was taking place in all the different conversations and relationships being built in the cafes and snugs all around this amazing building. I hope that the videos and blogs are giving off a bit of the vibe that’s marking this out as a really different event….and one to build on.

And on that note, off to Day 3; I’m delivering my blogging session again in 10 minutes, so must dash. If you want to see the powerpoint, check out the embedded slideshow from my earlier post.

Mapping connections at Shine

The Shine unconference is very much about connecting people: acknowledging the value that comes from one-to-one connections, intimate conversations, personal advice, peer-to-peer learning and so forth. This did make it difficult at times to pitch to funders: so mapping those connections, trying to track them, and start to measure the value of them, is really important.

And that’s why we’re excited by the conversations we’ve been having with The Social Network Company, who are going to experiment with using their graphical mapping tool at the event….which (as with much at the event) is very much an experiment and a trial, but could have interesting results. Particularly if we can go back to those people after (say) six months, and see how such relationships have developed over time.

Announcing the 2gether Festival

Steve Moore used the Shine conference last night to announce that Channel4 will be backing the 2gether Festival on July 2 and 3rd in London, bringing together media people, social entrepreneurs and innovators.

The name has changed from 4Good, but the aim will be the same as that trailed earlier – bringing together social entrepreurs, innovators , software dvelopers and other social media types to, well … help change the world for the better.

Steve has recently been working for Channel4 on their Next on 4 strategy to move from being a broadcaster to a digital media company. This involves the development of 4I

… a £50 million creative fund that’ll see us work with partners across the UK to kick-start a wave of investment in public service digital media.

It’s about nurturing new talent. Championing new voices and fresh perspectives. Giving people who can create the future of public service broadcasting content the tools and resources they need to do it.

The fund will be formally launched at 2gether. Steve explained that the style of the Festival will be collaborative – to stream together the many digitally-enabled social innovation projects and programmes bubbling up in London and rest of the UK, and to use the convening power of the Channel4 brand to raise the tide.
I’m somewhat biased in favour of the whole thing, since I’m a big fan of Steve and his networking activities, and I’ll be helping develop the 2gether web site, blogging and other communication activities over the next two months.
Current thinking is that we’ll start with a modest blog site, using the WordPress system developed by my friends at Ruralnet, and then start an open collaboration process to plugin technology, ideas, projects, people, network. That way we should end up with an online and offline event that has been created by the people attending, and others interested.

We do know that the event will be at the Rochelle School in East London, which itself has a fascinating history of social innovation. About half a day will be committed to the IP launch and other slightly formal activities, but rest of the programme is pretty open. Well, it was when I left Steve at Shine yesterday, though with at least half a dozen ideas already buzzing. I’m pretty sure that by the time I go back to Shine today there will be more.

However, no decisions have been made, and we should have a web site up next week to invite more ideas. I’ll do an update here … and many other places too. It’s going to be fun. As I wrote over here, there’s a really good feel about the social innovation/social media scene in London at the moment.

Day 2, people…..

So, with only a mild hangover and a desperate need of coffee, we begin day 2 of the inaugural Shine Unconference. As Nelly once memorably said, it’s hot in here: hoefully the beautiful weather will inspire people to come to the SouthBank, rather than head to the great outdoors…..

Already bumped into the impromptu social reporting team (Darragh, Ben, Dave) this morning; you can check out what they’re writing throughout the day here and at their own blogs ( , ); also met with Siobhan Edwards from Nesta, who are one of our kind, generous and pioneering sponsors. David McQueen has just welcomed everyone in the Marketplace, and people have now gone off to their various sessions in the snugs and nooks and crannies of this amazing building.

Do check out some of the video clips from yesterday (see link to the right), and watch out for the live twittering, posting etc from today’s day at Shine….

First day round-up

Ok, sitting here in the Marketplace listening to Steve Moore (I think) discussing the announcement of a new fund related to Channel 4 and digital media. It’s been a great first day here at Shine: really in line with what I and SSE and the other organisers hoped for when we first sat down to discuss this event. Practical, relevant, full of networks and inspiring, interesting conversations; no long tedious speeches; genuine interaction and engagement. I’ve seen all of that, and more, today, and I hope more tomorrow and Sunday.

OK, not everything’s worked: we had problems at reception with ticketing, and a few sessions had patchy attendance, but generally really positive. And great to see some real value emerging from 1:1s as well.

Roll on tomorrow.

Blogs away and a guest blogger!

Social reporting has got off to a great start and I’ve already met Ben Matthews (and his EeePC) who heard about Shine via Twitter (NB professional as always the video only goes to 1minute and then I forgot to switch it off, fortunately I didn’t say anything libellous, but it’s not worth watching after that!). And we’ve entered the European transfer market and signed up our first guest blogger Darragh Doyle from Ireland. Hopefully he’ll be able to blog from his lovely N95 8GB phone later. More video at Qik and photos at Flickr.

Live video – via Qik

Live video from this event will be collated at this Qik Event page, but if you bookmark this post and we are streaming you will see it live here, otherwise the latest video that has come out of our phones will appear here shortly.