Weeknotes w/c 8th March 2021.

So every week I do a quick blog in an effort to summarise what’s been happening this past week or so. It’s a bit of a round up of stuff going on so that those remote workers who aren’t a part of our day-to-day activities and Zoom calls, can keep their finger on the pulse of what’s happening in Stoke and North Staffs from the Counter Community Collective point of view.

On Wednesday morning we really got things moving. It’s the once-a-week meeting that we have on Zoom to make plans for what to do next and how to best get organised to bring in funds.

We’ve concluded that the only way to do that is to work as a group; to refine our messages and to be as sincere and transparent and inclusive as it’s possible to be.

It’s really good fun — but this week was the best so far (and we’ve been doing it for over three years now).

We decided on a few things.

  • That what we are developing is a new type of business model for community enterprise. Note the word ‘community’ and not ‘social’! We’ve gone off social and decided it’s well within our rights as the community to define and measure — and own — all things-community: value, wealth, enterprise, infrastructure and everything else in between. The get-your-tanks-off-our-lawns fightback begins!
  • That we need to write up and commit to writing some sort of mission statement or pledge or something that we can use as a starting point for getting the collective more organised and more investable. We know what we have as a squad is a shared vision — but what is that vision and how do we articulate in a way that engages? Note that we’re not going to have something boring! We agreed it needs to be fun and playful, and just a little bit adventurous!
  • We decided that kindness means a lot to us as a community. We like the idea of being kind and we love the fact that when we were based at the Cultural Squatters that #bekind was (And still is) our mantra:
A transcendent philosophy, giving rise to an industry?
  • We decided that we are a kindness enterprise that is led by a community where our focus is on the regeneration of people BEFORE the regeneration of a place!!!! We really got ourselves going on this one. We really feel quite strongly that regeneration should begin by helping people come to terms with their minds, and where they’re at with them right now. Regeneration through mindfulness is where we’re coming from. Not shiny new buildings or new railway stations, but real support, love and care for ordinary people from across the region who need to recover. Putting the people before the place is I think our point, and bringing people together to ‘make a positive difference’, our purpose. Once we recover the place can recover. Once we heal, the place can heal.
  • Amy suggests that we look at the Clubhouse app chat to ask others within the wider community what kindness looks like to them? Nice idea Amy — we’re in your hands about what to do next (Amy’s the youngest member of our band — she’s very socialled!!!)
  • Jenn insists that the language we use has to fit the Brechtian (Bertold Brecht, A German playwright) theme of being understandable by ordinary people. Ironically I had to ask what that meant. Jenn explained that In Brecht’s play, A Man for All Seasons the common man turns to the audience and speaks in ordinary language: Sometimes, the comments of the ordinary person go right to the heart of the issue, and other times they echo “This has nothing to do with me, I’m excluded”. As the play progresses, the Utopia, or possibilities of, are eroded by the Machiavellian, literally. Apparently it’s a great play but the point being that we, the Community, play the role of the Common man, and can decide for ourselves our future, by acting together, not be at the mercy of others decisions which don’t include us.
  • All the above is work in progress so don’t expect over-night miracles.

So there you have it. Thanks to those who were on the call — Amy, Alex, Jenn, Fee and Adrian. Let’s get this show on the road!