COMMUNITY NARRATIONS AND CRITICAL THINKING

Earlier this month the People’s Voice Media team attended the kick-off meeting in Berlin for our new Erasmus+ funded project – CONCRIT. The project aims to work towards a socially cohesive Europe, which requires self-confident, fully informed and educated citizens. To support this, ourselves and partners will be investigating the topics of community narration and digital literacies, exploring their role in civic education. Through this research, we will produce learner driven tools, ways to build a community and techniques to de-construct discriminatory stereotypes.

Partners involved in the project are from Poland, Germany, Italy and the UK and contribute different expertise and perspectives. People involved in the project work in participatory arts, support services for people experiencing issues such as mental ill health, civic participation fields and sports development arenas. This multidisciplinary team are seeking to pool our collective intelligence and learn from one another and wider stakeholders, in order to create training programmes and training activities pertinent to digital literacies.

We are currently in the research phase of the project, with the start of next year being focused on developing training materials and resources. The project will then move onto testing out these outputs and refining them. There’ll be opportunities for People’s Voice Media’s partners and stakeholders to get involved – so if you’re interested, let us know!

The meeting coincided with the 30 year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which is a timely reminder of the constant need to keep knocking down the barriers between people – whether they are physical or ideological – in order to build inclusive and welcoming communities. We’ll keep you updated on how the project progresses in its aim and contributes to this vision next year.

ROADMAPPING CO-CREATION

As we all know, co-creation processes aren’t best delivered by a fixed plan and are not linear in nature. The fluidity and flexibility of co-creation are core strengths of this practice. However, a key challenge ahead for the CoSIE project – a pan-European applied research project looking at how public services can be co-created – is to produce a roadmap for how co-creation can be done.

Exploring what this blueprint might look like was a key focus of a recent CoSIE project meeting in Athens. Ideas brought forward by the consortium was that it could take the form of a metro map with various routes depending on which position you were entering co-creation from, another suggestion was that it could be a Prezi with links and video content embedded and there was also the tongue-in-cheek proposition that it could be like a dating app – the Tinder of co-creation!

What was clear from these discussions was that the usualy lengthy PDF documents and toolkits that are produced on this matter are not what this consortium want to re-make. Instead, the project dares to be different. We dare to innovate and challenge pre-conceptions of what ‘roadmaps’ are. Fundemental to this, is that the blueprint must be accessible to everyone wanting to co-create in public services. For People’s Voice Media, a core part of this will be making it ‘human’ and about people. That means cutting out all the buzzwords and terminology that has lost its meaning, and instead using everyday language that people can really connect with.

Anyway, that’s our two pence worth on the matter… let’s see what is co-created on this journey!

EXPLORING CO-PRODUCTION

Earlier this month we took part in National Co-Production Week with the Co-Production Oxfordshire team at their 1-day festival. The festival was a mixture of guest speakers, stalls, participatory workshops and experiential opportunities that looked at co-production from different angles.

At the festival we delivered a micro Conversation of Change session in which people could experience how we work with stories of lived experience to create a dialogue amongst people with different perspectives. Using stories gathered as part of the CoSIE project in the workshop and learnings from delivering Conversation of Change events in this project’s pilots in the UK and Italy, participants got to grips with story dialogue techniques and how stories can be used in co-production environments. Feedback from particpants was great and we spotted a post-it note comment that really made our day – “Loved Community Reporting – this should be used as a basis for all service redesign”. 

A big thank you to the Co-Production Oxfordshire for inviting us and it was great to chat to some like-minded folk and share ideas!

WE’RE GROWING OUR TEAM!

People’s Voice Media is a value driven charity and social enterprise committed to bringing about social change from the ground-up. We do this through using Community Reporting to support people to use digital tools to tell their own stories, in their own ways. We connect the insights in these stories with decision and change makers to help people change their own world, and the world around them. Our work is across the UK and Europe.

As we grow our storytelling movement, we are looking to recruit a fixed term Operations and Project Management Lead (October 2019 and March 2020), for 2.5 days per week (£27,000 pro rota). The role will be focused on the planning, management and delivery of the organisation’s activities, including: 

  • managing workflows, schedules and team members across varied projects and activity streams
  • producing project reports and related administration tasks
  • ensuring project outputs & objectives are delivered on time and to specification
  • writing travel plans and other logistics tasks
  • attending and reporting at project meetings in the UK and Europe

We need someone who lives out our core values in their work. You’ll mainly be based remotely, with travel in the UK and Europe and occasional office days in Salford. You’ll need to be able to work autonomously and self-manage your workflow, whilst also being able to work with different people in collaborative ways. Caring about ‘the detail’ is essential. In return, we can offer an exciting and supportive place to work full of unique folk who are keen to experiment and learn together. 

Sounds like you?

To apply, send us some info about you and what you’d bring to the role via text, audio or video and a CV (in any format) by 30thAugust to hayley@peoplesvoicemedia.co.uk.

We’ll then invite some people to meet us on 3rd or 4th September in Salford or Liverpool to give us all an opportunity to get to know each other better.

‘OUR VOICES’ FINAL MEETING IN BERLIN

Earlier this month, the Our Voices team met in Berlin to define the last actions to take before the end of the project later in the Summer. With the products finalised, it was the moment to value the whole experience that lead the consortium to create a Digital Curator Curriculum, Digital Curator Toolkit and Story Curation Resource Bank.

The project started in 2016, when the consortium began to find ways to give a voice to the unheard and change perceptions within society. Nearly three years have passed since then and an innovative methodology based on the use of digital technologies to create impactful stories and promote positive change in communities, has been created. As part of this process, a new concept – that of digital curation – has been developed and pushed forward in different countries across Europe.

Funded via the Erasmus+ programme, the partners have been testing the products created and are now focused on their adaptation to different local contexts and sectors. The adaptability of the outputs has been defined as one of the main strengths of the project and each partner is currently working to tailor the products to their specific sectors and stakeholder needs. As part of this process, we here at PVM will keep delivering trainings using the products, disseminating them at events and look for new funding opportunities to expand this work further.

We hope that the methodology will keep being used in meaningful ways and if you’d like to find out more and access the products produced, then visit the Our Voices website. The contents will remain accessible and we are sure you will make a good use of them!