Dec 032014

Hello everyone!

We hope you are staying warm in the cold outside!

Confirmed date for our Big Spring Gathering

We can now confirm the date for our Big Spring Gathering will be on Sat 14 March 2015 at Anglia Ruskin University. Please save the date in your diaries via our Meetup Group. Also, if you haven’t already joined our meetup group, feel free to do so. It’s one of our main channels for keeping in touch with everyone.

Feedback from our Cambridge Brewhouse Event

A belated ***thank you*** to everyone who came along to this event. The comments and feedback you gave us were really useful – in particular some of the constructive criticism of what we didn’t get right first time at the Conversation Cafe event.

One of the biggest themes to come out of the Brewhouse event was having community meetings across the city either as the main output for, or in the run up to a larger gathering. This is something that the core team (Antony in particular) will be looking into, especially in terms of how we can support existing council-run Cambridge Area Committees, established residents’ associations and more informal residents’ groups. In this context, several of you mentioned to our facilitator Anne Bailey about what ‘added value’ Be the change – Cambridge could add.

“What do you mean by ‘added value’? It sounds a bit vague!”

The most recent visible example we have was in the November by-election in the Queen Edith’s ward. Working with students at Homerton College, Antony Carpen and local blogger Chris Rand who blogs at organised and filmed a hustings at Homerton College. Antony filmed interviews with each of the candidates. He also recorded a joint interview with the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidates for South Cambridgeshire, asking them to talk about what got them involved in local democracy. You can view all of the clips in this album.

The ‘value added’ is helping organise an event, and recording it so those who cannot attend can see what happened. It also allows people to see and hear the speakers in their own voices. In this case, the value added is creating digital content for a wider audience, ensuring that a greater number of people are more informed about what is happening in Cambridge. It also serves as a historical record.

Mobilising young people

This has been something a number of you want to see Be the change – Cambridge make an impact on. Initial efforts so far have not borne fruit. Hence at a recent ‘green open space’ event hosted by the brilliant Cambridge Hub, we put the challenge to students in Cambridge: In the context of environmental activism, how would they go about mobilising Cambridge’s 16-19 year olds to get them to take part in community, student and city societies? Click here to read what ideas the students came up with. This event is going to be repeated early in the New Year. If you’d like to stay informed, the Cambridge Hub are on Facebook here, and on Twitter at @CambridgeHub

Specific actions before Christmas

Antony and Anne have analysed feedback and spent an afternoon working up a series of options that we will be putting to the group of volunteers who are helping shape the spring event. We will be in touch by Mid December.

Interesting events for your diaries

Interesting event 1: Cambridge – The Creative City. How can the arts and cultural sector contribute to the future of our City? Alison Richard Building, West Road, Cambridge, 10 Dec 2014. (Uni4 Bus stops outside).

Cambridge City Council’s Jane Wilson will be hosting this event. This is one of the workstreams she and others developed at the Conversation Cafe, and since then it has developed significantly. If you are interested in supporting Jane, the City Council and the Cambridge Arts Network in improving our city’s arts and culture offer – particularly (but not only for) young people, this event is essential. Tickets are £5 and are available online here.

Interesting event 2: UKGovCamp – Central London, 24 Jan 2015

This is the annual gathering of many of the finest minds working in digital public services. I’ve posted details here. Normally only a handful of people from Cambridge attend. This time we want to see a significant number of new faces from Cambridge taking part. Learn from the pioneers of digital public services, and test your ideas with talented people so passionate they are prepared to give up a Saturday unpaid to take part in this.

Interesting event 3: eLuminate festival – Cambridge, 11-15 Feb 2015

Alessandra Caggiano, who has been providing us with essential support for the Conversation Cafe & Brewhouse events, is organising eLuminate. See here for more details on how her team will be illuminating some of Cambridge’s most loved buildings in a sea of colour!

Interesting event 4: Volunteer for Cambridge – The Guildhall, Cambridge, 28 Feb 2015

Two weeks before our Big Spring Gathering is this wonderful event. Hosted by Cambridge City Council and organised by Cambridge Hub (again!), they are being supported by a core group of organisations and activists, including the Cambridge Council for Voluntary Services & Be the change – Cambridge. Community groups are invited to register for a stall. Click here for more details. The big aim for this event is to get people who would not normally get involved in volunteering or community action to find out more about what they can get involved in.

And not forgetting…

The Cambridge Science Festival: 9-22 March 2015

They are hosting a number of exciting and inspiring events. See here for full details.

There’s the inevitable event clash, but a combination of the general election, students’ exams and summer holidays, this was the only reasonable date without having to put everything back to autumn 2015.



 Posted by at 9:10 pm