Monthly Archives: September 2014

UPDATE: Developing Data Coops for Community Benefit

We first talked about developing data coops for community benefit when we joined Edgeryders at the UnMonastery for #LOTE3 last Autumn. Our experience of supporting the Our Digital Community initiative with the Creative Coop, membership of the Local Public Data Panel, as well as conversations with local government colleagues in the UK had led us to conclude that the third sector lags behind its public and private counter-parts where establishing a reliable and effective intelligence capability is concerned.

Collective thinking evolved and we posted a detailed update back in June 2014 – in relation to which we were genuinely overwhelmed by the positive feedback we received from people interested to understand our ideas in greater depth (for which, thanks everyone)!

We’ve since benefited from discussions with Mydex CIC about its personal data exchange initiative; New Philanthropy Capital about its involvement in establishing the Justice Data Labnquiring minds about fit with the range of exciting projects it’s taking forward at present; the (ever supportive) Mark Braggins from the Hampshire Hub as well as Steve Peters and colleagues from Legsb and the LGA. We also contributed to a fringe event kindly organised by Open Data Manchester at the Open Knowledge Festival in Berlin back in July which helped us to further refine our approach.

So, we’re incredibly pleased to announce that the Social Investment Business has agreed to support a targeted piece of work in relation to Data Coop development over the coming months – to be led by the Creative Coop working with Common Futures and Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP. The project website will go live in October and carry the detail…

But, for now, we wanted to provide everyone who has taken an interest so far with a brief update (and, underline that we are greatly indebted to our close working relationship with the Creative Coop, the geekery of Alex Fink at the OK Cast and Marco Menendez of The Good Data, the encouragement of Professor Ewan Klein from the University of Edinburgh, and the stalwart support of Steve Clare from Locality).

Building Common Libraries

The Common Libraries team had a busy summer…

They went along to the Festival of Stuff hosted by UCL’s Institute of Making – eager to meet Mark Miodownik and the ‘community workshop‘ crew. They launched their first Project Report and talked to William Sieghart about the scope for closer working between libraries and hackers / makers to contribute to the independent report he’s been tasked with preparing for DCMS and DCLG about the Public Library service in England. They contributed to SCL regional meetings in the South East, East and London to answer library leaders’ questions about Common Libraries and library enterprises. They joined the OK Cast in Berlin for the Open Knowledge Festival to explore the scope for Common Libraries to blaze a trail in the course of promoting community publishing.

They led a workshop at the Pi and Mash unconference for library and information professionals at UCL, went Off Grid to spread the word in the South West, then, made for Berlin again to explore the potential for Common Libraries to be established as Open Coops and make use of the forthcoming Peer Production License. They met with the good people of the Restart Project at the Indie Tech Summit in Brighton, were thrilled to be invited to join the Matera 2019 bid to become EU Capital of Culture, and began talking to Frysklab about the scope for collaboration around mobile common libraries in future.

More recently, they’ve been talking to open data proponents in Sheffield and the North West, and were even fortunate enough to catch up with Nick Stopforth along the way – before winding up, last weekend, with library enthusiasts at LibraryCamp in Newcastle.

Phew! So, what’s next?

Well, we’re pretty stoked to announce that Arts Council England has very kindly agreed to support the Common Libraries initiative to continue working with library leaders who are interested in hacking, making and community publishing – further details will follow this Autumn but enquiries from interested parties are, as ever, very welcome. Here at Common Futures, we look forward to Building Common Libraries with you all over the coming months!