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!

THE VALUE OF CO-CREATION

We’ve all heard of ‘co-creation’, but what is its value or is it just another buzz word? As part of the CoSIE project – a 3-year programme of work that looks at the co-creation of public services across Europe – our team headed out to Wroclaw, Poland in May this year to use Community Reporting as a way of exploring what co-creation meant to residents and people working in different areas such as community development and public services there.

As part of this, we ran a short storytelling session in which participants recorded their reflections on the opportunities and challenges offered by co-creation. They then reviewed their stories and came up with some key findings and insights from them. The group identified that co-creation is not always easy and didn’t prescribe to the ‘rose-tinted-glasses’ version of co-creation you sometimes hear where everyone always gets along. Instead the group made points such as the difficulties involved in understanding other people’s perspectives when they are different than your own and how services do find it challenging engaging with the people who access them.

However, despite such accounts, the group did whole-heartedly value the opportunities offered by co-creation as when done in meaningful ways it enables residents to have influences on services and that hearing other people’s experiences can be enriching. Furthermore, the stories identified an appetite for co-creation from residents – they wanted to be a part of change processes. You can view a subtitled version of their edited stories here.

Whilst we were in Wroclaw we also worked with local Community Leaders who ran community centres in different areas and trained them as Community Reporters. We also worked with them to explore how people’s stories of lived experiences could help them in co-creation processes. We’re hoping that by embedding Community Reporting skills in local communities the opportunities offered by co-creation, in particularly listening and working with the knowledge of lived experience can stretch beyond the life-span of the project and influence the ‘way that things are done’ long into the future!

CHANGING THE WORLD, ONE STORY AT A TIME

We are delighted to be collaborating with Liverpool MakeFest and Ignite Liverpool to provoke a conversation on the power of storytelling and how lived experiences can be used to create social change.

We will be sharing our personal experience of using storytelling to make social impact and change focusing on key learning from the Our Voices project (a pan European digital story curation and mobilisation project) and linking this learning to real work contexts. We are beginning to see the importance of personal stories in decision making processes and how they can be instrumental to creating new ideas, ways of doing things and ultimately bringing about social change. In this talk, we will explore what the practical implementation of terms such as ‘co-design’, ‘co-production’ and ‘co-creation’ mean and how they can bring about – or not – the inclusion and utilisation of a wider diversity of people’s voices into decision making realms. Through this we will set out her vision for how traditional power and decision structures can be dismantled, and more equitable platforms and arenas built in their place. Hopefully we will spark a discussion about storytelling and social change, and tap into other people’s knowledge, experience and passion for being digital disruptors! 

If you would like to join in the discussion make sure you book your Liverpool MakeFest2019 free ticket.