Collaboration in action

An image with the word team work written in scrabble letters

Following on from our initial re-launch in October 2021, we used the Christmas period to gain further insights into the role that the T4GSW community can play for our membership. Committed to inclusivity, we chose to engage members online through Miro, social media and providing individuals with the opportunity to contact us via email if preferred.

Our work sought to seek additional clarity on the themes that surfaced initially, which would give us the foundations for a roadmap for 2022. The initial themes that emerged were:

  • Creating change and progress 
  • A place to connect and feel connected 
  • Access to skills and expertise

Data from the Miro shed light on three additional sub-themes that were important to the community, namely:

  • The need for T4GSW to be a truly inclusive community 
  • The collective desire of our membership to have a positive social impact 
  • The need for support from the community in order to have a positive impact

To be an inclusive community

The need to be inclusive surfaced across all three of our main themes and manifested in a number of ways. When creating change and progress, our community wanted: 

  • A feeling of camaraderie and connection, where you’re able to connect with likeminded people and challenge the status quo. This space will allow for connection with other networks and organisations, and allow for our members to meet people they might not traditionally engage with. Connection will also allow for the co-production of tools and ideas, and allow for members to discover interesting businesses and case studies. 
  • A commitment to inclusion and diversity, which included creating a community that valued lived experience, was intentional about making space for new and diverse voices, and ensuring that guidance is accessible and inclusive both through instrumentalising tech and without. Inclusion also extended to how comfortable people felt with technology, and our community was committed to being inclusive towards all levels of technological and digital literacy. We’re committed to learning from people who are ‘experts by experience’ and value all individually equally. 

To have a positive social impact

Shared values around social impact also came through across the main themes. These extended to shared valued and collective social impact:

  • Shared values for us, includes a focus on justice and understanding local needs. We want to help tackle pressing social issues, including Mental Health, dementia, homelessness, racism, social inclusions, and refugee support. Our community cares about society greatly, and some have suggested an annual focus on a few issues that can be rotated. . 
  • Collective social impact for our community means giving back and being part of something bigger. We want to unlock the potential within businesses for good, and mobilise our community to tackle problems locally that are important to us. 

To be supported when creating social change 

Support for our community comes in both a practical and skills based sense, as well as collaboration and a safe place to learn and develop. Our community is also committed to sharing their knowledge and expertise with one another to support this aim. Some key sub themes include: 

  • Offering skills and training, including tech4good business support, marketing expertise, advising on digital strategies, lending tech equipment, and hands on training for topics including google analytics. Our community is also happy to connect us with other individuals and networks e.g., The Citizenship Project, tech volunteers, university and colleges 
  • Learning from expertise is a less formal way of learning but equally as important to our community. This can be done through sharing case studies,  learning through one another’s mistakes, gaining an understanding of how to to improve your business model, or signposting to the right people to help.  

Making this happen, what our space will look like 

Our community has also surfaced what T4GSW will look like in a practical sense, and many of these suggestions include in-person elements. A desire to be together in a physical space also surfaced in the analysis from 180degrees consulting. An ideal in-person space includes some of the following: 

  • Networking through speed friending, in-person meetings and engagement around citizen communities. 
  • Learning and engaging in spaces that allow for serendipity. We would like surgery or cafe style support or an unconference to allow us to connect and learn.  

Have thoughts to share? Let us know in the comments!

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