Lets kick start a discussion… one that alot of us have all been talking about over the last few months, taking the network forwards.
I think its fair to say that the network has done very well since it was set up in 2010. From its first meeting in November 2010 where over 25 individuals groups and organisations came along and introduced themselves, the following regular open meetings have been consistently well attended. We’re built up a website with very little funds and mainly Tim’s sweat. There’s also been a host of good ideas coming out of the collaboration and some great projects as a result. I suggest its now time for the network to embed, consolidate and broaden its work. Looking to the future there appear ever more opportunities and spaces for an open network – representing a community of community energy groups – to expand and grow.
To start off with I’m suggesting a regular pub night, twice a month for all those that would like to contribute to moving it forwards. If we are to get things moving regular contact seems the best way. People will get to know that its happening and hopefully drop in when they want to contribute. To be clear you dont need to feel obliged but if you would like to get stuck in or contribute some thoughts then thisseems like a good way.
So how about 1st and 3rd monday of the month?
To get things moving I’ve put together a quick list of 10 steps (below) that could be taken in the coming months. Lets discuss, add to, delete etc
If you would like to be kept informed of these regular meetings (the location for instance would be useful) please drop us an email Bristol.firstname.lastname@example.org
Jake (on behalf of the network)
- Develop a Comprehensive strategy 2012-2016. A comprehensive strategy could be written that sets out what the network is and does and what it plans to achieve in the near future. It could be simple and short or long and detailed. The primary purpose here is to make clear what the networks overall aim and objectives are: to foster debate amongst ourselves as to what this should be, create debate and get feedback from the community members that make up the network and create a resemblance of cohesion and agreement. Once it is written and agreed, we should aim hope to obtain support from as many as the groups as possible and the organisations supporting the network already (BCC, CSE, tCW). The final document should be available on the network website.
- Create a 2 year review of the networks development to date. Simple review document. I started one but never finished. 🙁
- Create a simple, succinct message about the network. Essentially a tag line that is snappy but backed up with common narrative. Short and memorable, it would be useful for promotion and cohesion within Bristol and within national marketing.
- Develop a set of marketing materials: to be used both within bristol and nationally.
- Redesign the logo (something thats not a copy of easton’s but hopefully represents and encompasses all groups)
- Constitute the network under a recognised structure: At present the network is a registered charity (a tiny one). Technically we have to keep our accounts under £5,000. In the future we will break this and indeed I think we should be aiming to, so that we have the capital to develop and grow. So why not do this sooner rather than later?
- Seek new funding streams: whilst its useful to know what projects we are seeking to develop it wouldn’t hurt to look for more ways of funding the current activities of the network. Dave T has repeatedly said that really the network requires someone doing it a day a week to get things done. Perhaps we seek funding for this and see what comes out of it?
- Develop the website: how can we energies this and make it work? the potential is massive and under utilised…
- Find some way to embed learning within the network: ….?
- Finally, we should also start thinking about our plans for 2013, meetings/events etc