Organising around Participatory Vision in the U.K – the story so far

The project for a participatory society U.K was setup with the idea of bringing together activists in the U.K interested in organising around participatory vision.

To give you a brief history, in 2006 the ppsuk website was established for anyone interested in participatory vision and strategy to sign up to. The site included some articles, an organising framework and a forum for members to communicate.

After some initial dialogue on the forum those living in the London area, including myself, met up in person and began to hold meetings. We tried out various public spaces to hold our meetings at including the kings college london university cafe and the royal festival hall. This year we have been using a collectively owned activist resource centre, LARC (www.londonarc.org) to hold regular monthly meetings, for organising and networking.

Activities that we have been engaged in here in London include running stalls, giving workshops, and attending events with the focus on outreach and popularising participatory vision.

In early 2009 we had our first national meeting in Cardiff. Out of the 100 or so members who had signed up to the site, in the end around 20 of us attended. Not a huge number but it was a start and the first time many of us met in person.

Since then, we have launched a new website (www.ppsuk.org.uk) with features that enable the formation of groups for collaboration on joint projects, setting up local chapters, creating events, materials and enhanced communication. Some of the projects that have been setup so far include groups for: I.T team, outreach materials, speakers collective, newsletter group…

Recently we have made a push for people to setup local chapters in their areas. 11 Chapters have been setup in various places in the U.K, although only London and Cardiff are active and hold regular meetings as far as I am aware.

This month we will be launching a newsletter with information on latest events, chapters, projects, articles, etc. Plans are also being discussed to hold a one day event of workshops on participatory vision in London in October. Not confirmed yet but will be announced in due course.

Importantly, on Saturday the 21st November the London Chapter will be hosting a national gathering and have invited all members to attend. The event will focus discussion on our nested national structure in the U.K and on strategy, followed by a social event.

There are 206 people who have signed up to the site as of today, so we hope there will be a decent attendance. I will report on how it goes in a following blog.

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