Announcing the 2gether Festival

Steve Moore used the Shine conference last night to announce that Channel4 will be backing the 2gether Festival on July 2 and 3rd in London, bringing together media people, social entrepreneurs and innovators.

The name has changed from 4Good, but the aim will be the same as that trailed earlier – bringing together social entrepreurs, innovators , software dvelopers and other social media types to, well … help change the world for the better.

Steve has recently been working for Channel4 on their Next on 4 strategy to move from being a broadcaster to a digital media company. This involves the development of 4I

… a £50 million creative fund that’ll see us work with partners across the UK to kick-start a wave of investment in public service digital media.

It’s about nurturing new talent. Championing new voices and fresh perspectives. Giving people who can create the future of public service broadcasting content the tools and resources they need to do it.

The fund will be formally launched at 2gether. Steve explained that the style of the Festival will be collaborative – to stream together the many digitally-enabled social innovation projects and programmes bubbling up in London and rest of the UK, and to use the convening power of the Channel4 brand to raise the tide.
I’m somewhat biased in favour of the whole thing, since I’m a big fan of Steve and his networking activities, and I’ll be helping develop the 2gether web site, blogging and other communication activities over the next two months.
Current thinking is that we’ll start with a modest blog site, using the WordPress system developed by my friends at Ruralnet, and then start an open collaboration process to plugin technology, ideas, projects, people, network. That way we should end up with an online and offline event that has been created by the people attending, and others interested.

We do know that the event will be at the Rochelle School in East London, which itself has a fascinating history of social innovation. About half a day will be committed to the IP launch and other slightly formal activities, but rest of the programme is pretty open. Well, it was when I left Steve at Shine yesterday, though with at least half a dozen ideas already buzzing. I’m pretty sure that by the time I go back to Shine today there will be more.

However, no decisions have been made, and we should have a web site up next week to invite more ideas. I’ll do an update here … and many other places too. It’s going to be fun. As I wrote over here, there’s a really good feel about the social innovation/social media scene in London at the moment.

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