Networked City in practice: maps, apps, games and a model for Commons

The ideas that a group of us have developed around Connecting Londoners and Networked City are bearing fruit, with a two-year Big Lottery-funded programme, models for creating local Commons, plus more games and an app designed to help community connectors. Below is an update that I’ve posted to the Networked City wiki.

The big news is that Drew Mackie and I will be working with the HEAR Equality and Human Rights Network, plus three other networks, to help them map their membership and use digital tools to support campaigns. The innovation will lie in also supporting peer-to-peer connections between network members, so enabling grass-roots and user-led groups to self-organise.

Underpinning the work is a model that animates network maps with a communications platform, which can be co-design through workshop games.  We’ve been very fortunate  to benefit from pro bono support for a Commons co-design app  from Founders and Coders. More on that here.

When taken with local development work in Barking and Clerkenwell, and discussions on civil society infrastructure, what’s merging is a model that might offer some commons elements neighbourhoods, networks and national collaborations.

Update from Networked City

HEAR Mapping and Networks for Solidarity and Campaigning

We have a practical outcome from the Networked City exploration. Drew Mackie and David Wilcox are working with four equalities networks, on a two-year programme funded by Big Lottery.

As project leader Christine Goodall says, the aim is to “co-produce with small and user-led equality organisations in London a system that uses digital tools to build and strengthen their networks, enable better connections for collaboration, campaigning and solidarity, and enhance their voice and influence”.

“The project will also have a key aim of sharing learning throughout the project, building a repository of resources that will be made widely accessible”. More here.

Games, apps and maps for the Commons

We are developing the idea of “Commons” as environments for conversation and collaboration, with games to enable the design and development through the use of maps, apps, stories and self-organising. We are building on earlier Living Lab games, and now have a prototype app through pro bono support from Founders and Coders More here.

Mapping the Commons

In Islington we been working with The Peel Institute on their Connecting Clerkenwell programme, and then on various forms of mapping to display local heritage. You can see a Google Earth flyerover, Story Maps and a gallery, with 360 photos and video on this demonstration site.

Hub and platform model for the Commons

Our work in Clerkenwell, and before that with the Thames Ward Community Project in Barking, provided inspiration for for a model of mapping, communications and storytelling to support local action. The draft model is here.

People Power Platform

David Wilcox is a part of a group that has met twice to discuss models for civil society infrastructure, following the Civil Societies Future report. As I blogged here in January Steve Wyler proposed the idea of a People Power Grid, which chimes with our Networked City ideas. In subsequent discussion Platform was favoured more than grid. There’s scope for joining these ideas up with last year’s Social Power Report from the Sheila McKecknie Foundation, and the Compass 45°change pamphlet.


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