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Our Society was an informal online initiative during 2011 to help people share ideas about local action. This ideas platform was one activity.

I suggest we ...

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  1. A learning framework for the unskilled to become specialists

    Let us re-engineer our societies to train specialists from unskilled persons. Where procedures do not need the general view and understanding essential to roles of strategy and diagnosis, unskilled persons can become proficient at the procedures.

    Benefits to society come as we empower the unskilled person with procedural specialist skills. These 'specialists in procedures' do not need the general view and understanding essential to roles of research, training, strategy and diagnosis.

    May I use an example from medicine? Many routine medical procedures do not need the wide generalist skills of a general nurse or general doctor after the diagnosis has…

    1 vote
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    • Build real-time ‘Living Community Maps’ of community experience – so we can see where action is need

      London’s new ‘Waterway Treasure Map’ http://www.thames21.org.uk/treasure/default.php – though quite basic – has recently shown the feasibility of people marking problem issues – and much else – on a map, followed up by local activity (in their case, regeneration of the banks of various waterways in London).

      Though the most advanced such maps – using ‘softGIS’ technology, and high response rates – seem to be getting done in Finland (eg Helsinki Happiness Map etc).

      I outline the ‘Living Community Maps’ idea here: http://bit.ly/geXBTR – and talk about some of the similar ideas that are out there.
      I'd appreciate your feedback :-)

      2 votes
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        0 comments  ·  Mapping  ·  Admin →
      • Create a Pledge Pot

        Many of us have issues within our communities which are un(der)funded, and yet we are passionate about them and can see the socio-economic benefits they would bring if money was available. My issue is broadband. As a business, it is costing me money to not have it. Alone, I can not invest enough to make it happen but with my neighbours, potentially we can raise money to matchfund, borrow etc.

        My idea would be a website with a simple backend database to harvest data such as name, address, amount, Parish, email.

        Front end would show a map of each parish…

        15 votes
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          5 comments  ·  Economy  ·  Admin →
        • Help groups and individuals break into London-based decision-making processes

          Not all decisions need to be made in London, but those which are should be open to public scrutiny via live streaming, blogging & tweeting, and expenses need to be paid to allow those not based in London to get to meetings there. More at http://ning.it/fcwI1q

          6 votes
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            1 comment  ·  Principles  ·  Admin →
          • co-produce public services

            Combine expertise of local community with that of public sector orgs to co-produce better quality public services. Results in systemic learning by public sector (less silo-y, more 'whole systems') and increased capacity of local people to determine what happens locally, to be part of the solution, rather than a problem to be fixed.

            4 votes
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              0 comments  ·  Methods  ·  Admin →
            • Start mapping "Our square mile"

              A square mile is a familiar measurement and a popular concept. Currently, it's being used in a formal way by at least 2 projects (by the Big Society Network's Your square mile and by the arts project 1mile2). But everyone's square mile is different. Let's start mapping our own square miles in a flexible, overlapping and inclusive way.

              3 votes
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                1 comment  ·  Mapping  ·  Admin →
              • 20 votes
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                  9 comments  ·  Principles  ·  Admin →
                • Create local maps of existing activity

                  Simple, Our Society already exists! We aren't building something new. Voluntary and community groups, CVS', CABx, Volunter Centres, Community Development Workers and more have been building Our Society for decades. Bring together and work with exisitng local support providers to map what activity and coverage already exisits in a geographical area.

                  45 votes
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                    14 comments  ·  Mapping  ·  Admin →
                  • BigSoc Gap Year for students pre uni

                    Introduce a 'Green Gap Year' for students between school & uni, whereby they undertake 6 mnths sustainability/community/BigSoc Service, in exchange for educational credit towards 1st year tuition fees, valued at about £3,000

                    13 votes
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                    • Support community and social reporters

                      Community reporters use a mix of media to tell stories in a locality, and help others find their voice. Social reporters may do that and also work across networks to make sense, join up conversations, and help others use social media

                      3 votes
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                        0 comments  ·  Stories  ·  Admin →
                      • campaign so Parish/town councils tax locally to support BigSoc ventures

                        There are 8,000+ Parish & Town Councils across England, that can 'precept' (tax)....they should be encouraged to do so in order to 'trigger' Big Soc type ventures

                        6 votes
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                          3 comments  ·  Resources  ·  Admin →
                        • 3 votes
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                          • Develop the Gift Economy for Community Programmes

                            Sounds strange? Not really. Volunteering is built on this. Read on!! Cash will be almost non-existent for the next five years or so. FreeCycle + TimeBank could be the basis: But trade time, skills, expertise, project outputs, office space and equipment. eBay style 'reputation' tells who 'gives' most so the more your give, you more people want to give to you. It's not taxable, keeps skills within communities and makes the money go furthest.

                            16 votes
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                              3 comments  ·  Economy  ·  Admin →
                            • let citizens assess public services - eBay style performance management

                              we could design a system which lets people rate public services as is used on Amazon, eBay, TripAdvisor etc.
                              This would be transparent and so everyone could see what others thought of a service. It could also be used to involve people in designing and improving services and holding local government (and others) to account.

                              40 votes
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                                7 comments  ·  Services  ·  Admin →
                              • 3 votes
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                                  1 comment  ·  Resources  ·  Admin →
                                • Have a "I need" and "I Can Do" service to match-up capacity with needs.

                                  It should be made easy for people to match-up what they can give with what needs doing. Lets create a facility to make this happen.

                                  27 votes
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                                    6 comments  ·  Methods  ·  Admin →
                                  • Create 'doing better with less' methods/ideas through online & in-person service co-design/stories

                                    One side-effect of standardised procurement from local/national government is a focus on measurable deliverables and audit, which often create inefficiency and programmes delivering outcomes, not solving problems. We need a place where techniques like 'systems thinking' and movements like service co-design can be understood & used by local groups - then developed into stories and methods which both help others do more with less and also build evidence about what works. This would be more interactive than a library/resource centre, less pedagogic than e-learning.

                                    1 vote
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                                      2 comments  ·  Socialtech  ·  Admin →
                                    • 4 votes
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                                        2 comments  ·  Economy  ·  Admin →
                                      • Find ways to hear and share the stories of the 'forgotten society'

                                        As well as valuing the community activity that's already happening, we should make Our Society a place that shares the stories of people who are marginalised or feel excluded. We can do this by working with local groups, holding workshops or events that record these stories.

                                        19 votes
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                                          2 comments  ·  Stories  ·  Admin →
                                        • Skill citizens and communities up to be constructively critical of engagement p

                                          A comment on my blog (http://oursociety.org.uk/profiles/blog/list?user=3d7y1gav51y5g) on Our Society got me thinking.

                                          One of the risks of the Big Society is that it fragments into lots of Little Societies all pursuing their own ends, probably in conflict with one another. At the same time, the risk is that local government will engage with communities to legitimise cuts already decided on rather than in ways that give them real voices.

                                          Can we skill up communities and citizens to be constructively critical of engagement processes (both within the sector and those run by government) to push them to be more…

                                          5 votes
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                                            1 comment  ·  Services  ·  Admin →
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