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Pete Lawrence - 02 Dec 2017


Campfire's local Beacons are already starting to catch alight. A central, crucial part of the Campfire social experiment - local area initiatives, with flexible objectives for real social change. Here's a simple guide on how you can join one or set one up.

Beacons can be social hubs, putting on meetings and / or a variety of entertainment, Beacons can be campaigning centres, identifying local issues and devising ways to change things, or working towards new projects which are community-based. 

Each Beacon might take a different direction and emphasis. The idea is that Campfire isn' too prescriptive but instead offers templates based on experience. Beacons can work at ways of doing new politics, perhaps using some of the guidelines from our Trailblazer project, or using our values and principles as an underpinning ethos, but they may equally wish to be taking a humanitarian or artistic approach to their activities.

Events don't have be around a fire, though that helps! A circle around a fire is a good leveller, but galleries, pub function rooms, churches and community centres have also been used for Campfire events. 

Here is a simple guide for how to set up a Beacon:

Identify :

1 Friends and like minds

2 Local issues to solve, projects and initiatives missing

3 Local meeting venue or house

4 Relevant local PR and social media – set up a Campfire Beacon, a Facebook page, press release local news, local radio.

Read how Brighton conceived and set up their Beacon

Go to our Beacons page in the top level menu and if you have added your location to your Profile (via 'edit profile' from your avatar, top right) you will see map defaulting to the area around you. Click the 'filter by' box to see local Beacons, members, events and projects.

If there is a local Beacon that you'd like to join, you can do this immediately by simply clicking 'Join Beacon' button 

If you'd like to set up a Beacon, choose your name according to the local area you wish to cover (check what is around you - for instance, there is already a London Beacon but you may wish to set one up for a more specialised local area, ie Clapham, Finsbury Park). You can share ownership of a Beacon.

As the Beacons get active we will publish guidelines in a Beacons project. There are no expectations on you if you decide to set one up other than to be active in some way in the local community and to encourage membership.

Some essentials for meetings:

  • Conversation, art / music / poetry, food / communal cooking, a fire, at least one call to action, photographing / recording / archiving

Beacon event Guidelines:

An official Campfire Beacon event would appear as an event in your Beacon calendar - tickets can be made available via the official Campfire event page so you can monitor numbers and who is coming. This would also mean that those who attend can be involved in any follow up activity. Campfire's mailing system allows Beacon and Project / Event owners to specifically mail members / attendees.

To discuss ticketing and put events on sale via Campfire, get in touch via personal message with Campfire founder @Pete Lawrence who will also send you a PDF of guidelines.

Local organiser can have flexibility over duration, content, size, location in consultation with Campfire central.

All financial risk will be borne by the local organiser. For events with a potential gross income of over £500, any surplus will be split with Campfire 50/50.

You might set up a local Facebook group. Campfire central will list your event in its calendar on Facebook too.

Please include the following text in all information relating to your Campfire event:

Campfire Convention is a member-led online social network, free of advertising and algorithms, which is also about real-life events and co-creating. It’s evolving the way we do social networking as well as stepping up and actively facilitating change at local level.

Campfire Beacons are regional hubs of the Campfire Convention community, where local initiatives feed into a growing international network working to change the world for the good of all. Each Beacon will be aiming to make at least one ‘call to action’ for social change at each meeting.

We encourage you to join fellow members of the Campfire network where you can create your own Profile, showcase your creative activities, join common interest Guilds, create solo or collaborative Projects, post to our site magazine The Bugle and become an active member of a Beacon and keep the conversation going. 

Imagine the cumulative effect of our collective calls to action. Together we are building something that can make a difference.

About Campfire including our values and what we stand for

Global Beacons Coming together to light beacons around the world at solstice and equinox

Join Campfire ‘Pay what you feel’ to help us sustain our community

Campfire central offers :

  • Campfire flyer template
  • Local organiser sheet
  • Guidelines PDF which includes Campfire requirements.

After meeting:

  • Membership follow up - Campfire site Beacon membership
  • Articles for the Beacon (will show under resources) see Bournemouth resources 
  • Newsletter via Campfire site direct to members (allows Beacon owners to message their members or specific event attendees)
  • Review / articles for CC site / Facebook
  • Podcast
  • Calls to action : Follow up action points
  • Contact local council, politicians, press where relevant
  • Ideas for types of gatherings : Conversations, Gigs, Meals, Cooking, Thinkshops, Retreats, Learnshops, Festivals, Exhibitions, Rambles,

Issues and initiatives to consider :

  • Re-cycling,
  • Local energy
  • Local transport
  • Self-sufficiency,
  • Equality and diversity,
  • Planning and housing,
  • Education,
  • Gardening, growing, permaculture
  • Crafts and makers
  • Food and community farming,
  • Carbon neutrality,
  • Climate breakdown,
  • Health, fitness, obesity, hospitals, care
  • Yoga and alternative therapies,
  • Meeting and communal spaces
  • Co-worker spaces, co-housing
  • Art or performance with social awareness
  • Democracy and engagement
  • Homeless.
  • Building directories and resources
  • Connecting people at local level 


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