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Pete Lawrence - 18 Nov 2017


It’s been quite a week around the Campfire, literally in the case of Malvern and Bournemouth Beacons, who have both staged very successful gatherings around the fire and are gearing up for follow ups. See our Beacons map - if you have entered a location, it will show who and what is around you.

I see the Beacons as an exciting way forward for Campfire, bringing people together and empowering them, galvanising local initiatives and then feeding back into a mutual exchange mechanism whereby we build common resources, know-how and experience together that be accessed centrally on the network site. If you’d like to set one up, we’re in the process of developing some guidelines that you may find helpful and will build on these as Beacon activities progress. Look out for reports from Malvern and Bournemouth in the next few days and please get in touch if you’d to set one up in your local area.

I feel a strong sense of synergy at the moment, whether it’s in alignment with the inspired writings of George Monbiot, the Guardian editor’s manifesto this week or the progressive theories being put forward around doughnut economics by Kate Raworth or the environmental briefing we were given in Malvern by a climate reality leader, Julia Goodfellow-Smith who has recently returned from a meeting with former US vice-president Al Gore.

This spirit of ‘how to’ is something we need to be focusing on. There has been much discussion about the word ‘activist’ this week, promoted by @Ruth Wallsgrove’s concept for what she is calling Activism Shoecamps - Campfire Learnshop sessions designed for equipping us to be fully engaged, fully qualified, active citizens in the 21st century. There is a lot of expertise and experience within the Campfire community, even at this early stage, and we should be tapping into how we can share and make the most of our collective wisdom.

That’s what activism is and should be about. Not taking sides, flame-throwing or rioting but respectfully engaging - in conversation with those around us of different viewpoints, in learning and building resources, in realising that many choices we make every day are political in nature and in getting our ideas out there through blogs. These are the things that can turn a passive society into an active, engaged and connected one, where we can all feel that our actions can make a difference. Often, this awakening can start with our values – we’ve been doing some work this week on updating our values and principles (find them in the ‘about Campfire’ section in the page footers) and, as ever, we’d welcome your thoughts

There is a movement sweeping through society that is reinventing what politics is about, redefining its parameters and part of that redefinition extends to revisiting the word activist and making it user-friendly to work for those who are becoming active, leading and following initiatives for change.

For those who both came to or missed our recent Convention event, thanks to @Luke Flegg’s filming we have already put up Sally Hughes’s keynote speech ‘There are No Gods’ as well as three panels – you will find them all in the Project for the 002.UK event as well as on The Bugle, of course. I have more to put up which I’ll try and do asap!

We also have our second Firecast coming next week, reporting from the London event. I’m currently gathering your contributions for an end of year ‘Best of 2017’ Firecast so if you would like to nominate a favourite moment – a book, film, piece of music, gig, meeting, conversation, place or other happening that’s been memorable, we have set up (again thanks to Luke for app pointers) a page where you can directly record your piece into the microphone on your computer or mobile device. The joys of technology eh! You’ll be able to review it before sending it…

We're also looking at possibilities for integrating other third party technology into the overall experience at Campfire as we are trying out with Speak Pipe. I've set up a forum thread for comments and suggestions on apps and co-ordinating Campfire so we can make the experience better.

So with this energy buzzing around after 002, several of you are discussing how we keep the conversation going about how we organise… there are Circle teams being set up that can be joined and don’t forget the forums which have been rather quiet of late - everyone on site can potentially see every post so it’s a good place to chat and more inclusive than posting on your own wall.  Teams forum thread is here and Ruth’s original ‘How do we talk to each other’ thread can be found here.

Apologies for anyone who has had log in issues on iPhone. Conversely I’ve heard from a couple of members with other makes of phones that direct Campfire links from Facebook have suddenly become immediate without having to log on (tbh, we didn’t realise there were outstanding issues here). As ever, if you find bugs or user experience issues, please go to the forum where we have a specific area for Reporting Site Bugs and Suggestions.



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