Feb 052015

****Tickets now available****


Click on this link

Do you want to have more than your say on the future of Cambridge?

Do you want to share your ideas with dozens of passionate & like-minded people?

Do you want to make a positive difference to our city?

If so, this event is for you! 

We’re delighted to confirm the arrangements for our community action event, which will take place on Sat 14 March at Anglia Ruskin University, East Road, Cambridge.

We’ve changed the ticketing format from the paid vs free tickets to having all tickets free while allowing people the option to donate towards the costs when booking. Our suggested donation (£10) is the same price as the original ticket price for the small group of people that carried over their original bookings. The most important thing however, is people’s participation.

With Cambridge’s packed calendar of events – in particular the brilliant Cambridge Science Festival, we’ve gone for a 12pm-6pm event rather than a 10am-4pm event. We are also incorporating three planned workshops into the afternoon to reflect your ideas & input from our Brewhouse & Conversation Cafe events in autumn 2014. These will be:

  • The arts and culture offer for Cambridge
  • Housing and transport planning: How does it work and how can you influence it?
  • How should Cambridge City be run?

The final of the three stems from very recent developments with the Greater Cambridge City Deal – which now has a constituted executive board and assembly. This resulted in the very recent announcements of £100m of funding for ten transport projects between 2015-2020. See here.

We will also be organising a couple of small focussed skills-sharing workshops in the morning prior to the 12pm start. One of these will include the very talented Jennifer Jones, who was a project manager for the Digital Commonwealth project for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. She will be sharing her skills, knowledge and learning on community media and engagement from both the 2014 project and from her research as a PhD student in the School of Media, Culture & Society at the University of the West of Scotland.

We look forward to meeting you all in March!

Anne, Antony and David.

 Posted by at 2:31 am
Jan 192015

On 15 January 2015, student societies from Cambridge University, Anglia Ruskin University and Hills Road Sixth Form College took over the Cambridge Guildhall to host ‘Campaigning Cambridge.’ Antony went along to meet them.

Interested already? Get in touch with them!

Cambridge University Students Union cusu.co.uk
Cambridge Student Hub cambridgehub.org/
Anglia Ruskin Students Union angliastudent.com/

These are just a few snapshots of the groups of young people and supporting organisations doing fantastic work across Cambridge. With Be the change – Cambridge, we want to help our students and young people have an even greater impact on our city by making it much easier for them to get support from adults and our city’s institutions. Things worth considering in advance of our community action event on 14 March 2015 at Anglia Ruskin University are:

  1. How do we, the people of Cambridge communicate with each other and our institutions? (For example what is the role of local TV, local radio, local print publications, online blogs and ‘digital content producers’ – such as those that make digital videos? This goes ***far beyond*** communications strategies that state ‘we will use local radio and social media etc).
  2. How do we change the culture, systems and processes in our institutions so that young people don’t have to fight the same battles every year to get institutions to listen to them? For example, how can we build into institutional systems something that makes them aware every autumn there are Year 12 students looking for community projects to work on as part of their extra curricular/enrichment college programmes? How do we synchronise institutions’ calendars with the Prince’s Trust Team programme and the National Citizen Service programme?
  3. How can we make sure the new arrangements for the Cambridge City Deal work for young people, and for the people of Cambridge rather than just the economy?

The students & young people are up for the challenge.

Are we?


 Posted by at 2:24 pm
Aug 072014

If you haven’t already booked your place for our event at Anglia Ruskin University on 13th September with Cambridge Ahead, please click here. Standard tickets are £10 + Eventbrite’s £1.25 booking fee. Free tickets with no booking fees are available for those on low incomes, people under 21 years old and those volunteering to help out at the event.

Digital and social media volunteers – why they will be important

The UKGovCamp network - who were the first to offer financial support to this event, set the standard for large gatherings with social and digital media use at their heart. My first ‘govcamp’ was in early 2011 when I was a civil servant at the Department for Communities and Local Government. Being surrounded by 200 people all passionate about improving public services using social media was an amazing place to be given where the world was over three and a half years ago. That is the sort of creative energy I hope we can unleash in Anglia Ruskin’s state of the art conferencing facilities on their East Road campus. The venue matters, which is why I’m delighted (not just as a former ARU student) that the Vice Chancellor has given his backing to this event as a headline sponsor.

Having an excellent venue is one thing, but having the people and volunteers to get the best out of it is quite another. This is why we are inviting people passionate not just about Cambridge but also about social and digital media to step forward as volunteers on the day. In particular we invite students in further education who might be working towards college programmes or things like the Duke of Edinburgh awards. We want people to post content on relevant social media sites before, during and after the event – ensuring that what we achieve on the day spreads far beyond the venue rooms.

What does digital content from these events look like?

One of the events UKGovCamp supported earlier this year was CommsCamp14 in Birmingham, which I went along to. To summarise:

“So, this is a round-up of 8 videos, 2 vines, 162 pictures, 15 blogs, 8 storifies, 1 infographic and 7 useful links posted as a result of commscamp.”

Click here for the links to all that’s mentioned in the above quotation. To give you an idea of what video footage in a community action context might look like, have a look at the digital video below which was from an event about the future of the Mill Road Depot in Cambridge.

Avril, the woman giving the presentation has experienced homelessness herself. Her insights at the event were a complete education for me. There were things she taught all of us that we were not previously aware of. Watch the video in full for yourself. Ask yourself what new insights you learnt. This indicates one of the many positives I hope will come out of the event: People interacting with others who they otherwise might not meet on a regular basis.

An example of using digital video to share information – again in a Cambridge context is the Cambridge Lakes project. Some of you may not be aware of the three large lakes that were once quarries situated at the far eastern end of Mill Road just beyond the Coldhams Lane Sainsbury’s. Steve Turville who runs Limoncello in Cambridge has been the driving force behind the idea. I filmed this presentation at a community meeting in July 2014.

With up to ten workshops happening simultaneously, having people covering the workshops will be incredibly useful for everyone – especially those who cannot make the event. Despite the not-brilliant quality of my digital filming (I only started properly in the summer), the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

If you are interested in live-reporting via Twitter (we’re also on it @BeTheChangeCam), posting useful links onto our Facebook page, taking photographs and short film clips and/or writing post-event blogposts or even showing guests how to use social media, please get in touch with me – Antony at antonycarpen [at] gmail [dot] com.

An example of filming at an event - in this case me at Hitchin's Rhythms of the World Festival. Photo credit Penny Homer @SocialSoprano

An example of filming at an event – in this case me at Hitchin’s Rhythms of the World Festival. Photo credit Penny Homer @SocialSoprano

 Posted by at 2:40 pm