The work I do is about Community Development, Economic Development, and Business Development. I am particularly interested in the role of new technologies and social media in fostering community and economic development and in driving organisational change, efficiency and improvement.
Driving Strategic Development
I am a founder member and facilitator of both Big Society in the North, and Our Society, key strategic fora which aim to provide leadership to local community empowerment initiatives. I am a member of Lord Nat Wei‘s “Friends of Big Society”, and am leading work on developing a Big Society Wiki.
Using Technology to Drive Organisational Change
I developed the DC10plus Product Catalogue, which showcases initiatives which use technology to drive public sector efficiencies, improve public services, and promote digital inclusion. I have also advised a number of organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors on introducing and implementing flexible working policies.
Technology and Social Media for Community and Economic Development
Building on the original idea by Nick Booth, I have developed and managed a large number of social media surgeries for voluntary and community organisations, mainly in the North of England. I am also running Social Media Surgeries for Musicians, and am about to develop Surgeries for sports clubs and organisations.
I am currently also working with David Wilcox and others to develop the Big Society Social App Store, a platform for technological (and non-technological) tools to help people organise and manage community initiatives more effectively.
I am working with a number of voluntary and community organisations to help them use social media in their work to communicate with their audiences, attract more volunteers, and develop projects. I am further developing a number of initiatives which use social media to improve local decision-making and break down barriers between decision-makers and community members.
I am delivering a number of training courses on the use of social media and technology in community development, including community / social reporting courses.
I also social report on events and initiatives myself. I can do live video streams of events, video and audio recordings for later uploading, vox pop interviews of speakers and participants, and live blogging. My approach is, wherever possible, to help organisations develop the capacity to do this for themselves in the future.
I am currently developing a number of models for peer-led development, including a peer-led business development strategy which utilises social media and local networks to facilitate the nurturing of business skills among groups of small business peers.
Speaking and media appearances
I have spoken at a large number of high-profile events, and I appear regularly on a number of different local radio stations. Links to some of these appearances can be found elsewhere on this blog.