What some of our stakeholders told us at a meeting last week ……

Last week we invited everyone we’re in contact with through our email mailing list and Facebook, to a meeting to discuss the shape of Make:Shift 2013.

Many thanks to James, Elliot, Marianne, Kerry, Natsia, David and Nick for their valuable input and for Sheila, Anna and Caroline for helping to facilitate the whole thing.

After discussing what Make:Shift is all about – supporting more resilient and self-reliant communities in Wolverhampton – we asked the group for their reflections on last year’s event. It was agreed that we’d attracted lots of new people; that we’d created a real ‘buzz’; that some of the speakers were excellent; and that loads of ideas about improving Wolverhampton had been generated and supported.

People thought that it had been difficult to explain the concept of Make:Shift last year; that we could have reached a more diverse cross-section of the population; that the event was a bit too much like a conventional conference; that maybe two days was too long and we’d be better focusing our efforts on one really good day; that the really good bits were the breakout sessions the speakers ran after the presentations; and that the venue was a bit cold.

This year the group thought that the idea of holding an unconference was a good one. The group would like Make:Shift 2013  to be as interactive as possible. They would like to see events before Make:Shift to support peoples’ involvement and events afterwards to support idea development. The idea of holding a series of Brew Camps before and after the event was suggested, and the group would like to see plenty of social media activity in the run up to the event.

The group gave us lots of practical suggestions for making Make:Shift 2013 absolutely brilliant this year.

These included:

  • Having a marketplace event before the event kicks off so people can share ideas and link together
  • Showing films to spark ideas (including some video shorts from Better Off in Wolverhampton)
  • Developing some easy to understand themes e.g. ideas to improve ‘our street, or community and our city’
  • Creating YouTube videos of last year’s ideas

To finish up, the group gave us some feedback on some branding ideas we’d come up with. Ian, whose working on the communications side of things will be considering these before coming up with the final branding over the next couple of weeks.

That’s a summary of what the Stakeholder group thought. Do you agree with them? Is there anything you’d like to see or definitely don’t want to see at Make:Shift 2013? Have you got ideas about how we can reach out to a wider cross-section of Wolverhampton people this year?

Whatever your views, we’d love to hear them. And what better way to share them than by posting a reply to this blog right now?

We’ll look forward to hearing from you.

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9 thoughts on “

  1. Great to hear this is all going on again. I’d say yes, unconference format over one day would suit most, but a working day or Saturday? There’s the rub. There are pros and cons of both approaches. Youtube videos profiling last year’s event and projects would be good to get people interested in being a part of it. But I’m also wondering whether it could be streamed, or whether there’s potential of at least one event to use something like Google Hangouts to video conference with people in other cities (maybe internationally) who have run similar schemes – it’s always good to learn from other perspectives (steal ideas). I’d be happy to look into that.

    I also have an idea I need to write up for a session on the day, but it would require some work prior the event, and it would be nice to think of the event as something that sits at the middle of a range of activities. If I blog my idea and send it on, you’ll see what I mean…

  2. Pingback: Crowdsourcing a community club at MAKE:Shift | Jerome Turner

  3. Thanks for your comment. Yes, we hope to thrash out whether to go for a week day or a weekend at our project group meeting and we did discuss it at the stakeholder group. It’s a really key decision and there are pros and cons to both..
    I like your idea of streaming the event but I have neither the equipment or the expertise to do this. Is this something you might be able to advise us on?
    I’d love to see your idea. We’re almost certain to have some activities in the lead up to Make:Shift and aftwerwards to support idea development and to help any ventures develop.

  4. Hi everyone,

    As a number of people who attended the stakeholder meeting requested examples of unconferences I’ve attached a recent one called Healthcamp WM about social media in health & wellbeing. I’ve heard that it was very successful, had a wide participation and was supported by Birmingham Health & Wellbeing Board:
    http://www.nhslocalblog.co.uk/tag/healthcamp-wm/
    I’ve also attached the link to a space conference:
    http://spaceup.org/
    http://spaceup.org/agenda/
    This was also an unconference and worth a read. Not only because its a fun subject but because of the amount of interest it generated and participation was global!

  5. I was thinking, one of the reasons why I like the space org unconference so much is because of how ‘pure’ an unconference it is – the environment is not just literally a conversation in the corridor. The rooms used are open plan with people having conversations and sharing ideas in corridors and around buffet tables. The equipment is then available for self-created groups or individuals to make presentations.
    It was so successful that it became global with participation further increasing through social media – tickets are even now being sold through twitter.
    I didn’t know previously but apparently the ‘food’ and eating together concept is really significant in an unconference – creating the right social environment for the unconference – I think that this is a concept that Steve Poole would particularly like (listening to him talking about his brainstorming sessions around social buffets!)
    I’ve heard that Sam might be inviting participants to bring cakes for the afternoon session – I know that involving the schools in Make:Shift is difficult as Make:Shift is taking place outside of school hours however it would be nice if maybe some of the school children wanted to contribute to the cake making!?
    I was considering making some cookies. I tried some delicious ones whilst on a City Break to Dublin – I hope that the chef will give me the recipe

    Anyway see you all at the next meeting
    Anna

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