Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dangerous ideas and change through a recession

There's quite a lot of us plugged in now in Stoke, talking about what's going on round here. And so, a new idea has been born. Feel free to repost, refine and adapt.

The Recession Rapid Reaction Force (Stoke)

What is it?

The Recession Rapid Reaction Force (Stoke) - #rrrfstoke - is an open network seeking to share ideas on how to combat the recession and for people to benefit from the opportunities that additional investment bring.

Using a Twitter stream, tags and any other tools that seem useful (as basic as a note pinned to a wall) as well as meetings, members will share ideas and connect initiatives to ensure that people are making the most of projects that are already running, as well as speeding up the development of ideas that need little or no funding.

How can I be involved?

Just join in. The network will work on the principle of trust so share everything you are allowed to share, ask questions and tell people about what you see. Help others and you will find a community of people ready and willing to help you if you need it.

Is this a long-term solution to the economic crisis?

No. Nor does it seek to be. That’s for the strategists to deal with, though many of us will be in those roles. This network is about capitalising on the opportunities that are available right now to get extra training for people and to think about the economy in a new way. So from something as simple as a skills-swap or a short training course, people might start to think differently about their prospects for employment.

What about people who aren’t online?

We take digital disconnection seriously. The stuff that can be shared online is only useful if it can also be shared offline in community centres, homes, pubs and the street. This can be done through screens pointed outward that can show Twitter channels (like an electronic noticeboard), printouts of information you think might be useful and by keeping an open mind with people you are speaking to so that you can tell them about things you have picked up from the network if it is relevant and you can also share useful things if they ask you to. Conversations are the only way to bridge any divide.

What the hell is ‘#rrrfstoke’

That’s called a hashtag. It’s an easy way of creating a ‘feed’ that anybody can contribute to, share and follow. It can be used on Twitter and as a tag on (which can in turn be automatically fed into Twitter and other websites) It’s easier and quicker to type rrrfstoke than Recession Rapid Reaction Force Stoke and quite fun, too. Try it!