Joining up the dots to show #OurWayAhead

Yesterday’s event about building stronger London communities was a terrific success, both for the content and in providing insights into where next for Connecting Londoners and other initiatives.
A look at tweets shows the diversity of discussion, and of those attending.
There were some great presentations, and lively open spaces discussions around these topics.

  • What good qualities do we have in common and how can we make these good qualities more common and stronger
  • Hate Crime Bystanders
  • To create a performance machine/system that demonstrates the shared/skills and abilities of us all but also highlights and showcases the way forward
  • How can we improve access for deaf and disabled people across all of London
  • No more asking – taking back power and voice
  • Could London have its own currency to share skills and resources LETS link London
  • Supporting vulnerable young people (mainly care leavers) transitioning into independence – building foundations, emotional support etcetera solid understanding acceptance of the self
  • How can we make sure that everyone legal rights are respected? – so they can challenge decisions by public authorities – so they can get expert advice and representation with the right way ahead – so rights have meaning, and value and justice is not just rich man’s law
  • Let’s mobilise for mental health
  • What is happening to our community assets? centres, youth clubs, libraries, parks allotments? How can we keep them going? How can we resource them?
  • Access for deaf and disabled people in London is a postcode lottery. How can we create an equal pan-London approach to accessibility.
  • What can universities do to contribute?
  • How to encourage the huge variety of the people in London to listen and understand each other and so build peace and happiness.
  • To create new accessible media that gives a genuine voice to communities for the social and economic regeneration of communities
  • Hostile immigration policies – communities and resistance
  • Physical spaces for the voluntary sector to meet
  • Why aren’t we talking about food and living space?
  • Planning for Greener London – air-quality, community energy, green space, sustainable city
  • Quality of life and well-being – coping, creativity, identity, social, physical
  • Is it all about austerity rather than government priorities – i.e. segregation/institutionalisation versus inclusion
  • Minorities and Brexit – are you thinking what I’m thinking and what can we do about it?
  • We have the Mayor of London and the young Mayor in local areas. Why not have a disabled Mayor?
  • how can government spend money differently to promote community inclusion rather than segregation
  • Systems thinking what people say what matters or journeys
  • Digital inclusion

John Popham livestreamed the event, and I’ll hold off further reporting of the content until recordings are available, and we have worked our way through the flip charts.
At the start of the day Drew Mackie and I handed out a printed basemap of connections of some London organisations and groups, and invited people to add their own group or organisation, if not on the map, and draw in further connections.
Drew then transcribed the sheets into the Kumu software we are using to build the map online.
We are still tidying up the map, but we know that we added some 100 new nodes. Here’s how it looked on screen at the end of the day
What was evident from conversations – and confirmed by the mapping – is that London has a huge and diverse range of community talents and assets – but they are not very well connected. People may know about those groups and organisations in their particular field, and some central organisations, but not those in associated fields who might be helpful.
One of the ideas floated at yesterday’s event was creating a strong movement for community groups. That didn’t really catch on because, I think, there were so many diverse challenges to talk about, and there’s much to do in building connections and shared purpose.
That’s where I think Connecting Londoners can help, both through the initial projects we are developing – outlined here – and extending and deepening the mapping.
I’ll update in a day or so on how we could do that, but briefly we can construct a survey into people’s projects, interests and capabilities, and their communication preferences and willingness to share. That would give us the basis for planning how to strengthen networking, and the “network ourselves” approach I outline here in writing about How to move TheWayAhead into the networked age by Connecting Londoners
We could do more to join up the dots – or rather, help people do their own joining up. The planning group for Our Way Ahead is meeting next week, and I’m sure there will be a wealth of other ideas from that.
We’ll also be able to generate more ideas at a Cafe conversation on Thursday July 20, facilitated by David Gurteen There are only a few places available, so please get in touch with me directly if you are interested:
Cafe details here

Update: Here’s a brief report on the mapping exercise

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