Friday, April 22, 2011

We are energy

This post is part observation of what communities (particularly, but not exclusively, digital communities) are doing, and part manifesto: me thinking that if we did even more of the things listed below we would overcome a lot of the city's challenges.

North Staffordshire is a complicated place of villages, towns and a city. Our area was one of the heartlands of the industrial revolution. Our ideas and products spread across the world and we retain easy links to the rest of Britain and further afield. We are surrounded by resources but for many people it can also be a very challenging place to live. For example, in Stoke-on-Trent many people live in substandard housing and experience poor health. Opportunities can be difficult to find and access. The city itself can be difficult to navigate. On the flipside, it's a low cost place to live and when the sun comes out and at least one of the football clubs is doing well, the spirit of the city is lifted.

People coming together in groups help to keep communities healthy by raising wellbeing from simply spending time in each other's company, spending money together, making decisions collectively and exchanging information.

Together, we have more energy and more power.

These are some ways to access what's positive and do something about what's negative by building up people's skills, confidence and ability to:
+ find and navigate everything around us such as opportunities, events, spaces, resources
- challenge decisions, navigate and improve systems, overcome challenges and live more sustainably
  • take part in opportunities to learn
  • share our own knowledge and skills with others
  • help to make links between people and organisations
  • curate and collate information to make it accessible to more people
  • share information about opportunities, spaces and services
  • listen out for the positive and negative in the conversations around us and online.
As I said at the beginning of this post there are a lot of people already doing this. On Social Stoke I collect links to some of the good stuff that I've spotted.

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