Civic partners and all the acronyms

So you may have read in my CV and Work about my work with Civic. I've been there for two months now and am loving it and have learned so much. It's challenging, interesting work and I feel very humbled to be working with the international team all trying to make change 'cheaper, better and faster' - that's their mantra. 

We (Civic) built a digital platform to help people from around the world share their learnings and collaborate on models of social change.

We're testing it at the moment with a network of communities who are all working in disaster-affected areas - from the Syrian refugee situation in Jordan, the droughts of Northern Kenya, the slums of the Philippines to Bangladesh. In each of these countries is a wild and wilful team of folks who have set up innovation labs to help the local community develop their ideas, prototype solutions to whatever challenges they face and scale them up. We would like to see the labs uploading their process and methodology and the communities sharing what they have done and how they have done it all with the hope of replicating these models in other countries worldwide. 

They are called DEPP Innovation Labs (Acronym 1 - Disaster and Emergency Preparedness Program) which is a 3-year project with Start Network and CDAC Network (Acronym 2 - Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities) who are at the help. ThoughtWorks is the innovation partner and RIL (Acronym 3 - Response Innovation Lab) are also part of the process. Each lab has it's own partners too - from the IRC (Acronym 4- International Rescue Committee) to Adeso to Plan International. So there are many many partners and stakeholders to consider, plus the vast and diverse community themselves! It's quite mind boggling really!

My job has been to onboard the community, develop a content strategy, curate content that the labs will find helpful, and basically do whatever I can to help the platform to become a diverse place to source solutions from. 

Yesterday I was in London meeting with the team who are working on this project, and Start Network has their office at Save The Children -it was quite fascinating being in a space like that and getting to glimpse into that organisation as well. 

 

that time I went to Bangalore for work

Two weeks into my new job working with Civic I found myself waking up in Indiranaga in the heart of the urban Indian sprawl Bangalore or Bengaluru. I was there for just 4 nights, there to listen to some amazing stories of work in the humanitarian sector - specifically around disaster and emergency provisions in The Phillipines, Kenya, Bangladesh and Jordan, but also to deliver a one hour session on who Civic are, what they do and how the digital platform our team has created will help them to better collaborate and share their models of positive social change so they can be replicated across the sector and beyond.

 

 

now working with Civic

They write about themselves:

Civic is a change accelerator. We bring together unlikely allies, people-powered ideas and shared assets to help make social change happen faster, cheaper, better in places around the world.. We're a fledgling, ambitious, start-up - more a movement than an organization. We are currently operating projects in Nepal, Afghanistan, Jordan, Turkey and the UK. And we actively partner with local and global operators to deliver our work.

They have a simple website civic.co to describe their work - check it out, it'll take you just 5 minutes to read. =  ) 

My role is the Digital Community Manager and I am working remotely from Bristol with the occasional trip to London doing 2.5 days a week. My role, as laid out by them is to: 

• Manage a growing and dynamic group of users on the Civic platform • Split focus on communities associated with partners/sponsors and organic users • Input into platform strategy with a focus on community growth and platform development

And it's going well. I'm now about one month into the new job and am learning lots. Apart from my digital work with Good For nothing, The Wild Network and TYF, plus building my site here, I'm fairly new to the digital space. That said my community management and development experience has spanned lots of different industry's - from retail at finisterre, hospitality at surf simply, community engagement and support through good for nothing, events at unreasonable and do lectures - so I'm excited to see how this physical community building will translate across to the digital space - likely to include many of the same values of building trust, being authentic, listening and communicating effectively and often, allowing a space that people can open up in an honest and helpful way... being kind, being generous, experimenting, rapid prototyping solutions, and embarking on a learning journey. 

Our users aren't on boarded yet but will be in the next few weeks, so I'm looking forward to working with that community to get them using the platform and helping us to make it better.

And as always, like most millennials, it's important to me to do work that matters. I am incredibly passionate about the work Civic are doing - essentially aligning with their belief that we can make positive change much faster if we work together, and in doing so share what we are learning along the way so others can benefit from what's been done before. They do that through their place-based work, their digital platforms including impact measurement, ecosystem mapping and this collaboration for innovation tool and capital. 

Providing I pass my 3 mont probation I'll still be there this time next year, so expect to hear more on the Civic stuff soon! 

 

Good For Nothing Bristol!

Last night we launched Good For Nothing in Bristol. It was in the Boston Tea Party Cafe on Cheltenham Road in Stokes Croft - a vibrant, cultural and passionate part of the city. There was cold beer, cheese and wine and a group of about 30 individuals who all showed up to find out more about Good For Nothing. There was a real buzz and we're all super happy with how it all panned out - here's a little video about Good For Nothing and how you can get involved.

I helped with the event set up, registration, communications and a bit of hosting and ushering on the night. Today the new chapter has been formed and we have ten folks who are going to crew this local group. Going forward I'll help ensure the chapter leaders are set up to run with this in Bristol and take on the event organising and community building themselves. Tonight Good For Nothing is being launched in Bath and then at the end of the month we're doing the same in Exeter and Birmingham. It's an exciting time for this creative generosity movement and I'm humbled to be a part of it. 

Hugely grateful to Boston Tea Party for providing the space, the wine, the beer, the cheese and the good vibes - hoping this partnership thrives and looking forward to seeing where this journey will take us. 

#gfnbristol

Do you live in Bristol, Bath, Exeter or Birmingham?

I mentioned in an earlier post, that I got a sweet job (wahoo!) - I'm working with the small team at Good For Nothing (GFN) to help the GFN community take off. 

I am super excited about a new collaboration we have with the folks at Boston Tea Party. Part of their Making Things Better initiative is they genuinely want to have a positive impact in the communities they serve. And we are a network of individuals who are giving the gift of our creativity, talents and skills to local projects and groups in their neighbourhoods. So the two movements go hand in hand. Boston Tea Party get to directly support the act of doing good for nothing by hosting the get togethers and Good For Nothing have a hub in a city and can jam on issues and challenges in their area whilst sipping on a flat white = brilliant! 

We're launching in Bristol on the 13th June, Bath on the 14th and then Exeter on the 27th and Birmingham 29th June. If you live in one of those cities and can come to check it out and get involved it would be great to see you there. 

Bristol : June 13

Bath : June 14

Exeter : June 27  

Birmingham : June 29