Using social technologies for social impact
I’ve run workshops in village halls, conference centres, board rooms and cubby holes … but no-where as memorable as our venue yesterday at the Chain Reaction event. Amy Sample Ward and I were assigned a room on the 28th – or was it 30th? – floor of the Clifford Chance building in Canary Wharf for our session of the Social by Social game. High, anyway – providing a vista right across east and south-east London: docks, Dome, barrage, offices, warehouses and homes from 16th to 21st century.
So when we started off with the usual question about inventing a scenario – where are we going to play today? – it was pretty impossible to avoid looking out of the window and imaging the community below … with a some help from a couple of people in the room who knew the area.
It turned out that Canary Wharf was a very mixed sort of place, with top-rental offices and high-priced riverside flats next to social housing; busy with office workers in the day, dead at weekends; retail malls, but few local shops. While there were some strong community groups, and a 32-acre City Farm, action was needed on several fronts: organising festivals and events, getting better engagement and representation for residents, and connecting different communities.
So after filling out a description of the area we split into three groups and used the Social by Social card set to plan some action. You can see the cards we used in my post from yesterday. The three groups first chose from a set of cards offering engagement activities, then from a set of social media and other tools, and finally looked at ways to pay for their plans.
I shot some video as we went along, as you can see here, starting with an introduction from Amy. Thanks everyone who came, entered into the spirit of the occasion, and resisted the temptation to spend the entire time looking out of the window.