Campfire Conversations

A Project inviting members to host their own Campfire Conversation events this summer, or to attend others' events.

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by Pete Lawrence
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Created on 22 Feb 2017

With spring under way, our thoughts turn to outdoor activities and the campfire experience. We're heading out around the UK between late April and mid July in the build up to this year's Campfire Convention 00.UK event.

If you are up for hosting / organising a Campfire Conversation for this summer, have a read of the articles in this Project.

The gathering works best as a small, intimate afternoon or evening, preferably with an outdoor element (as we can then have a fire too), which can be a pub or arts centre, a back garden or a field. Ideal size I can range from 10-100 people and would involve discussion, debate, thinkshop, exhibition, ideas exchange and a knees-up element (live acoustic music or DJs) and a food / drink element, often communal cooking.

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Wed, 02/22/2017
Interests

Away day in Axbridge

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This what happened around the Axbridge Campfire - a superbly curated, extended day in and outside an old house on the hill just outside the town with spectacular views over the reservoir, the Somerset levels and Glastonbury Tor.. some camped out, others came for the day

Thanks to @barry cawston, Soraya and crew for organising.

 

2pm…. My Campfire introduction 

2:45pm…. By Jonathan Wise  from London 'How do we organise about the things we care about'?  

"I'll share my story about working in advertising, leaving and feeling on my own and then the actions to try and create a sense of community where there was no existing community.  So, based on this, I can open up a conversation.   What are the factors that create community when traditional means are reducing - e.g. church, trade unions, political parties etc.  It can be location (e.g. Transition Towns), gender (e.g. Women's Equality Party) etc.  What are tools, means etc?  What have been people’s successes and failures and learnings they want to share?"

Also "There's a woman i know, Lauren Currie.  She started this idea called  ‘Upfront’ http://weareupfront.com/

Basically, it's about having a couch / chairs on stage when someone gives a talk. It's for people who would like to give talks but are too scared.  They just sit on the sofa, quietly after being introduced.  By them being on stage whilst someone else gives a talk, it gives them the experience of being 'upfront' rather than in the crowd and makes the idea less scary.  So they are more likely to speak next time. "

 

 

3:30  Tom Littlewood and Pete Harding   (Axbridge Locals) Talk :  Community building: How to enable communities to develop a sense of belonging and action   

Discussion about our experience of developing ‘Streets of Axbridge’ as a project to make the town’s streets and spaces more people friendly using this as a platform to talk about ways and means to building community participation and activity.

 

4:15    @Julia Black  (lives near Glastonbury)  Founder of Explorium, is a BAFTA nominated Film Maker & Social Entrepreneur.  She founded Explorium because at age 7, her daughter started to experience the constraints of our current education system. Being a natural born risk-taker and problem-solver Julia set about disrupting the status quo and finding a solution. In 2010 she won the NCPTA Gold Star Reward for 'changing the life of the school' when she led a team of volunteer parents to put on a school circus with all 106 children involved. She continued to innovate for 3 years outside of the system, starting in a skittle alley of a pub and then moving into a former primary school building to establish her supplementary creative learning centre in Compton Dundon. She has taken her vision, of how education can be, from the home education community into the mainstream. This past year she had a centre hosted on site at secondary school, Ansford Academy and armed with powerful evidence that her approach, Lights On, brings about transformation results she has just launched an online coaching course to take Lights On to a global audience.   

She talked with Sen and Esme her children who have first hand experience of the ‘lights on” approach.

 

5pm Philip Dalton Lives near the Sheppy and is a director/wildlife cameraman who put together  BBC One - Spy in the Wild  which uses cameras hidden in animal robots to get new angles and insights from the animal kingdom. He will be talking about he uses the latest technology to engage with new audiences.

 

TALK : Chris Bettles, Film maker and Social Media provider, Made a doc with his partner Zoe called #TheSecretOfChange about the transition movement centring on three towns. Magnus is working on a zero emissions fuel cell

 

TALK :  Richard Frost and David Constantine talked about their experiences setting up the charity Motivation which sends creative product designers to third world countries like vietnam to help locals make wheelchairs out of materials to hand e.g. bamboo etc   https://www.motivation.org.uk/  Richard lives in Axbridge David in Bristol

 

Soraya and Peggy Atherton  (Westminster College lecturer), also did an art workshop for all ages using clay

Leonel dished up delicious food from his Happy Mexican pop up Cafe and we had wine, beer, softs, tea, cheese and coldcuts to keep us going.

Hopefully there will be another soon!  

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4 Comments

961

Lou Mycroft

Sounds like an amazing day. I'd be very interested in pulling together some ideas for 'creating community'.

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Pete Lawrence

Thanks for the link @Dave Dann
Whilst we share some common aims with Transition Network, the functionality of their site doesn't give the levels of interaction that Campfire does IMO so it is not so much of a social network. Campfire is planning to place more emphasis around developing collaborative Projects and quality journalism, and forum discussion - so in that respect I would have to say that I challenge whether it is "trying to re-invent many wheels"
What wheels to you think we're trying to re-invent, out of interest?

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Dave Dann

Yes, I can see that you have more amibitious aims for the website but 'creating community' is one area that has received a lot of attention over the last 10 years.

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Dave Dann

Try
https://transitionnetwork.org/?s=creating+community
I seriously think that Campfire is in danger of trying to re-invent many wheels.
or here
http://www.resilience.org/?s=creating+community