Papers prepared by David Wilcox 2017-18.
The essence of the proposals here is that London citizens, groups and organisations need better networked communication and support, as traditional voluntary sector systems are reduced, and technology changes our economy and society. Details here of the Networked City exploration underpinning these proposals.
This is now recognised in by the Hub for London, which has advertised the role of Networks Partner. The responsibilities are:
However, the developments needed cannot be achieved solely through one post at the Hub. We need a community and network of change agents, with skills in network mapping and building, digital technology and self-organising, to work with those already engaged in the field.
We hope that the CoP will both provide opportunities for mutual support and learning among CoP members, and will also lead to some specific outcomes:
See also ideas from Nicolas Fonty and Barbara Brayshay for a Metropolitan Civic Platform
We discussed these ideas further at an event of March 27 2018, and created a map of potential CoP members. We will shortly invite them to join our forum and develop CoP plans further.
The context for these proposals for a Community of Practice is threefold:
As a member of the advisory group for the Hub for London, representing Our Way Ahead until February 2018, I prepared a paper that aimed to draw together all recommendations and find common ground between The Way Ahead initiative, Connecting Londoners and Our Way Ahead.
I presented the final proposals for a CoP - 4 below - at a meeting of the advisory group on February 1. The group agreed to consider them further. I retired from the group because I want to promote the idea of the CoP independently, and as a freelance feel there could be conflict of interest in seeking funding.
In summary: bring together a group of people interested in how to build networks and support network-based action. Develop both a learning network and practical activities that can attract clients and funding. Use the network tools to learn how to build networks in practice.
A workshop on November 16 2017 at London Metropolitan University took the key elements from official reports on the Hub - the challenges, ideas and methods to develop solutions - and turned these into props for a role-playing game. Discussion at the end centred around developing a platform for change agents, or Community of Practice. We followed up with a meeting of people interested, in December.
I prepared these more detailed proposals in November 2017, on behalf of Connecting Londoners and Our Way Ahead, for the advisory group on the Hub for London, of which I was a member at the time.
I presented these proposals to the Hub for London advisory group on February 1 2018
The diagram builds on proposals in the documents Extending the Hub and a Community of Practice for networking London civil society, referenced above. In summary what’s needed is a community of people keen to learn how to build networks bottom-up and bottom-across in local communities and pan-London, together with support, service providers, and advisers. Activities would include meet-ups, an online platform, and on-the-ground activities to map and build networks.
One of the options I'm exploring is setting up a Community of Practice/network with support from the RSA, because at least six of us involved in Connecting Londoners and Our Way Ahead are RSA Fellows.
More about Networked City, Connecting Londoners and Our Way Ahead