31 July 2016

now...august 2016

This is what I'm doing now. This is a mix of what I'm working on now, what's coming up and a spot of working and thinking out loud.

Sharing Learning Doing (my work)

  1. working on an evaluation with Neil Shashoua of Trapeze Consulting for a Newcastle-based charity, running 2016 to 2018
  2. planning a Little Library at Broadacre House, a trust-based lending library (I had to do something with the piles of books I've collected over the years for my non-fiction book group!). I hope to have it set up by the end of July middle of August and will share what I did in case it's something you want to do too
  3. working with a small group of people to set up a new website to help celebrate the amazing people and fantastic organisations doing great things in the north east. I'm really excited about this - the idea and working with a small group of people on something we all care about
  4. working on a monitoring and evaluation framework for a Newcastle-based charity, again with Neil Shashoua. I'm pleased because we've worked with them before and it's great to be able to build partnerships with organisations rather than only work on one-offs
  5. working to help register one organisation as a charity. It's a corporate foundation who want to take their "role as a corporate citizen seriously"
  6. working with a Gateshead social enterprise on a monitoring and evaluation framework for a planned funding bid and to help them understand their work and their impact better - we should hear this month if the bids has been successful or not
  7. writing A few good things to share, my newsletter to share inspiring, useful and exciting things. I haven't been doing well with this but I've now added it to my calendar and to my to do list to try to make it happen
  8. planning Soup for Six (or maybe Six for Soup?), a monthly lunch to bring me and five other people from Broadacre House together to meet, learn more about each other, and build relationships. The idea is that I'll make soup for six people once a month and send an open invitation for five of my fellow building users to join me. I think this is scalable ie more people can make soup for six and ask another five people to join them. I plan to share what happens with this too

My learning and networks

  1. learning social entrepreneur stuff - I'm a student on the School for Social Entrepreneurs 2015-2016 Start up programme with the Yorkshire and Humber school. It's a year-long programme with study days, action learning sets, a mentor and small start up grant. There have been nine study days so far and our action learning sets have started. The mentor element of the programme isn't working out for me but that's OK as I have other people who I can talk with. The graduation is coming up in September - what to say?! 
  2. being involved in Urbanistas North East (I'm part of the planning group). The last meet up on 19 July met the Low Fell Volunteer Gardeners, and was so inspiring to meet a group of committed local people wanting to make their streets a beautiful place to be. Urbanistas is a women-led network for women working on social change in cities
  3. running Collaboration Superheroes, which I co-host with Robert Laycock. When we first met in January, we took a big picture look at collaboration including defining it, what we're doing to make it great and what we're doing to make it fail. At our second meet up in April we heard a collaboration story and reflected on the skills, behaviours, feelings and system that were going on during the collaboration story and our own experiences. The latest event in June was all about trust, and I'll share the write up when it's ready. We're planning our next conversation for end of September
  4. reading Shrill: Notes from a loud woman by Lindy West for my book group. Our next meeting is 6 September - if you'd like to join, let me know
  5. reading Reinventing organisations: A guide to creating organisations inspired by the next stage of human consciousness by Frederic Laloux, mainly because someone told me I was very green  recently. Rather than get mad (OK, I did a little at first before he said "rather than orange"), I looked it up, which brought me to Frederic Laloux and his idea of "teal" organisations

Being an active citizen

  1. volunteering as a trustee of Northern Creative Solutions, which runs Broadacre House, a meanwhile space project turning an empty 40,000sq ft/6 storey office block in Newcastle upon Tyne into a thriving community hub and home for charities (25 and growing), social action and creativity. It's brilliant, and I became chair of the charity in March. We had a celebration the other week to launch our annual review - it was great to talk with the organisations that have made Broadacre House their home and to ask them what else they wanted to see in the building
  2. volunteering as a trustee of Scotswood Natural Community Garden. We run and manage a beautiful garden in Scotswood, Newcastle upon Tyne, to help people learn about nature, sustainability and growing and be more healthy
  3. running (with William Mortada, Holli Brown and Fiona Punchard) Newcastle Social Media Surgery to help people (community activists, charities, community groups) to use social media better. Our next surgery is on Thursday 25 August so if you or someone you know needs help with social media, come along

Sequins and Tweed

  1. working on some product lines for an open studio event in August - so far I've made felt ball garlands, repurposed vintage playing cards for greeting cards, and, inspired by 70s string art, have hand-stitched Christmas cards (starting early) - and now need to get on to packaging and pricing I've decided not to do the open studio event as it was just one thing too much this month. It's a shame but I feel good about my decision
  2. wondering what to do with this blog

I stole this idea from Derek Sivers. It's such a good idea to steal that loads of other people have done the same and there's now a now page movement plus a website that lists people's /now pages nownownow.com.

30 June 2016

now...July 2016

This is what I'm doing now. This is a mix of what I'm working on now, what's coming up and a spot of working and thinking out loud.

Sharing Learning Doing (my work)

  1. working on an evaluation with Neil Shashoua of Trapeze Consulting for a Newcastle-based charity, running 2016 to 2018
  2. working on a monitoring and evaluation framework for a Newcastle-based charity, again with Neil Shashoua. I'm pleased because we've worked with them before and it's great to be able to build partnerships with organisations rather than only work on one-offs
  3. working to help register two organisations as charities 
  4. working with a Gateshead social enterprise on a monitoring and evaluation framework for a planned funding bid and to help them understand their work and their impact better
  5. writing A few good things to share, my newsletter to share inspiring, useful and exciting things. I haven't been doing well with this but I've now added it to my calendar and to my to do list to try to make it happen
  6. planning a Little Library at Broadacre House, a trust-based lending library (I had to do something with the piles of books I've collected over the years for my non-fiction book group!). I hope to have it set up by the end of July and will share what I did in case it's something you want to do too
  7. planning Soup for Six (or maybe Six for Soup?), a monthly lunch to bring me and five other people from Broadacre House together to meet, learn more about each other, and build relationships. The idea is that I'll make soup for six people once a month and send an open invitation for five of my fellow building users to join me. I think this is scalable ie more people can make soup for six and ask another five people to join them. I plan to share what happens with this too

My learning and networks

  1. learning social entrepreneur stuff - I'm a student on the School for Social Entrepreneurs 2015-2016 Start up programme with the Yorkshire and Humber school. It's a year-long programme with study days, action learning sets, a mentor and small start up grant. There have been nine study days so far and our action learning sets have started. The mentor element of the programme isn't working out for me but that's OK as I have other people who I can talk with. The graduation is coming up in September - what to say?! 
  2. being involved in Urbanistas North East (I'm part of the planning group). The next meet up Urbanistas NE meet the Low Fell Community Gardeners is on Tuesday 19 July. Urbanistas is a women-led network for women working on social change in cities
  3. running Collaboration Superheroes, which I co-host with Robert Laycock. When we first met in January, we took a big picture look at collaboration including defining it, what we're doing to make it great and what we're doing to make it fail. At our second meet up in April we heard a collaboration story and reflected on the skills, behaviours, feelings and system that were going on during the collaboration story and our own experiences. The latest event in June was all about trust, and I'll share the write up when it's ready
  4. reading Men explain things to me and other essays by Rebecca Solnit for my book group. Our next meeting is July - if you'd like to join, let me know. I really recommend reading our last book group book Who cooked Adam Smith's dinner: A story about women and economics by Katrine Marcal as it gave a great analysis of women and economics or rather how women were excluded from economics for such a long time and how economics doesn't really work and no one knows how it really works, which is what I suspected all along
  5. (still) reading Time to think by Nancy Kline, which is another brilliant book all about thinking. Nancy writes about creating a Thinking Environment to help us think better together. Here's a little more about it: "The most valuable thing we can offer each other is the framework in which to think for ourselves. The quality of everything we do depends on the quality of the thinking we do first. The quality of our thinking depends on the way we treat each other while we are thinking. Time To Think has identified ten behaviours that generate the finest independent thinking. We call them the Ten Components of a Thinking Environment®. In the presence of these ten behaviours people think for themselves with rigour, imagination, courage and grace." It sounds good, doesn't it? Nancy Kline's follow up book, More Time to Think, has finally arrived so that'll be next on the reading list
  6. working with Rae Farmer on emotional resilience - it has been so helpful

Being an active citizen

  1. volunteering as a trustee of Northern Creative Solutions, which runs Broadacre House, a meanwhile space project turning an empty 40,000sq ft/6 storey office block in Newcastle upon Tyne into a thriving community hub and home for charities (25 and growing), social action and creativity. It's brilliant, and I became chair of the charity in March
  2. volunteering as a trustee of Scotswood Natural Community Garden. We run and manage a beautiful garden in Scotswood, Newcastle upon Tyne, to help people learn about nature, sustainability and growing and be more healthy
  3. running (with William Mortada, Holli Brown and Fiona Punchard) Newcastle Social Media Surgery to help people (community activists, charities, community groups) to use social media better 

Sequins and Tweed

  1. working on some product lines for an open studio event in August - so far I've made felt ball garlands, repurposed vintage playing cards for greeting cards, and, inspired by 70s string art, have hand-stitched Christmas cards (starting early) - and now need to get on to packaging and pricing
  2. learning how best to mount and frame nursery rhyme vintage playing cards
  3. wondering what to do with this blog

I stole this idea from Derek Sivers. It's such a good idea to steal that loads of other people have done the same and there's now a now page movement plus a website that lists people's /now pages nownownow.com.

31 May 2016

now...June 2016

This is what I'm doing now. This is a mix of what I'm working on now, what's coming up and a spot of working and thinking out loud.

Sharing Learning Doing (my work)

  1. working on an evaluation with Neil Shashoua of Trapeze Consulting for a Newcastle-based charity, running 2016 to 2018
  2. working on a monitoring and evaluation framework for a Newcastle-based charity, again with Neil Shashoua. I'm pleased because we've worked with them before and it's great to be able to build partnerships with organisations rather than only work on one-offs
  3. writing A few good things to share, my newsletter to share inspiring, useful and exciting things. I haven't been doing well with this but I've now added it to my calendar and to my to do list to try to make it happen

My learning and networks

  1. learning social entrepreneur stuff - I'm a student on the School for Social Entrepreneurs 2015-2016 Start up programme with the Yorkshire and Humber school. It's a year-long programme with study days, action learning sets, a mentor and small start up grant. There have been nine study days so far and our action learning sets have started. The mentor element of the programme isn't working out for me but that's OK as I have other people who I can talk with. The graduation is coming up in September - what to say?! 
  2. being involved in Urbanistas North East (I'm part of the planning group). The next meet up is on Wednesday 20 July and booking information will be out soon. There's a social too on Thursday 9 June, 18.00-20.00 at the Town WallUrbanistas is a women-led network for women working on social change in cities
  3. planning collaboration superheroes meet up #3 for 2016 on 23 June, which I co-host with Robert Laycock. We'll be sending out stuff about the meet up soon. This came out of North East Together, Leaders Network for Social Change). We had a plan to run collaboration supperheroes supper club but haven't quite managed to get it off the ground - more rocket boosters needed perhaps
  4. reading Men explain things to me and other essays by Rebecca Solnit for my book group. Our next meeting is July - if you'd like to join, let me know. I really recommend reading our last book group book Who cooked Adam Smith's dinner: A story about women and economics by Katrine Marcal as it gave a great analysis of women and economics or rather how women were excluded from economics for such a long time and how economics doesn't really work and no one knows how it really works, which is what I suspected all along
  5. reading Time to think by Nancy Kline, which is another brilliant book all about thinking. Nancy writes about creating a Thinking Environment to help us think better together. Here's a little more about it: "The most valuable thing we can offer each other is the framework in which to think for ourselves. The quality of everything we do depends on the quality of the thinking we do first. The quality of our thinking depends on the way we treat each other while we are thinking. Time To Think has identified ten behaviours that generate the finest independent thinking. We call them the Ten Components of a Thinking Environment®. In the presence of these ten behaviours people think for themselves with rigour, imagination, courage and grace."  It sounds good, doesn't it? 
  6. working with Rae Farmer on emotional resilience - it has been so helpful

Being an active citizen

  1. volunteering as a trustee of Northern Creative Solutions, which runs Broadacre House, a meanwhile space project turning an empty 40,000sq ft/6 storey office block in Newcastle upon Tyne into a thriving community hub and home for charities (20 and growing), social action and creativity. It's brilliant, and I became chair of the charity in March
  2. volunteering as a trustee of Scotswood Natural Community Garden. We run and manage a beautiful garden in Scotswood, Newcastle upon Tyne, to help people learn about nature, sustainability and growing and be more healthy
  3. running (with William Mortada, Holli Brown and Fiona Punchard) Newcastle Social Media Surgery to help people (community activists, charities, community groups) to use social media better 

Sequins and Tweed

  1. working on some product lines for an open studio event in August - so far I've made felt ball garlands, repurposed vintage playing cards for greeting cards, and, inspired by 70s string art, have hand-stitched Christmas cards (starting early) - and now need to get on to packaging and pricing
  2. learning how best to mount and frame nursery rhyme vintage playing cards
  3. wondering what to do with this blog

I stole this idea from Derek Sivers. It's such a good idea to steal that loads of other people have done the same and there's now a now page movement plus a website that lists people's /now pages nownownow.com.

06 April 2016

now...April 2016

This is what I'm doing now.

Sharing Learning Doing (my work)

  1. finishing off an action research project with Greening Wingrove CIC (in partnership with Ethical HR Ltd) - it's been an exciting and interesting piece of work. I've worked with Greening Wingrove CIC on a business plan and have written up the action research project as a report called Growing Greening Wingrove
  2. finishing off a short project with a community centre in the east end of Newcastle to help them build a stronger network around them 
  3. helping one two organisation to become a charity (Northern Dance became a charity at the start of April, hurrah!)  
  4. working on an evaluation with Neil Shashoua of Trapeze Consulting for a Newcastle-based charity, running 2016 to 2018
  5. trying to write a regular newsletter to share inspiring, useful and exciting things. The plan was to send it out every two weeks or so but I have totally failed as I've only sent out a few since September. Must try harder

My learning and networks

  1. learning social entrepreneur stuff - I'm a student on the School for Social Entrepreneurs 2015-2016 Start up programme with the Yorkshire and Humber school. It's a year-long programme with study days, action learning sets, a mentor and small start up grant. There have been seven study days so far; our action learning sets have started; and I've met my mentor, John
  2. helping to plan the next Urbanistas North East meet up on Tuesday 17 May (I'm part of the planning group. Urbanistas is a women-led network for women working on social change in cities). There's a social too on 18.00-20.00 on Tuesday 12 April at the Town Wall
  3. planning the April 2016 collaboration superheroes meet up and collaboration supperheroes supper clubs I host with Robert Laycock. Come along if you like but don't forget to book a place. This came out of North East Together, Leaders Network for Social Change)
  4. reading Who cooked Adam Smith's dinner: A story about women and economics by Katrine Marcal for my book group. Our next meeting is in May and I'm feeling (too) smug about reading it already (it was great, I loved it)

Being an active citizen

  1. volunteering as a trustee of Northern Creative Solutions, which runs Broadacre House, a meanwhile space project turning an empty 40,000sq ft/6 storey office block in Newcastle upon Tyne into a thriving community hub and home for charities (20 and growing), social action and creativity. It's brilliant, and I became chair of the charity in March
  2. volunteering as a trustee of Scotswood Natural Community Garden. We run and manage a beautiful garden in Scotswood, Newcastle upon Tyne, to help people learn about nature, sustainability and growing and be more healthy
  3. running (with William Mortada and Holli Brown) Newcastle Social Media Surgery to help people (community activists, charities, community groups) to use social media better 

Sequins and Tweed

  1. working on some product lines for an open studio event in August - so far I've made felt ball garlands, repurposed fuzzy felt for Christmas cards, and, inspired by 70s string art, have hand-stitched more Christmas cards - and now need to get on to packaging and pricing
  2. learning how best to mount and frame nursery rhyme vintage playing cards
  3. wondering what to do with this blog

I stole this idea from Derek Sivers. It's such a good idea to steal that loads of other people have done the same and there's now a now page movement plus a website that lists people's /now pages nownownow.com.

25 November 2015

now...November 2015

This is what I'm doing now.

Sharing Learning Doing (my work)

  1. starting and working on an action research project with Greening Wingrove CIC to run until January 2016 (in partnership with Ethical HR Ltd)
  2. starting a short project with a community centre in the east end of Newcastle to help them build a stronger network around them 
  3. helping two organisations to become charities
  4. planning an evaluation with Neil Shashoua of Trapeze Consulting for a Newcastle-based charity to start in 2016
  5. helping Claire, the Broadacre House manager, to set up a co-working space in Broadacre House
  6. (still) working on the backlog of my bookkeeping - I won't do this again (the backlog not the bookkeeping)
  7. trying to write a regular newsletter to share inspiring, useful and exciting things. The plan was to send it out every two weeks or so but I'm not doing that well - none this month or last month but two in September

My learning and networks

  1. learning social entrepreneur stuff - I'm a student on the School for Social Entrepreneurs 2015-2016 Start up programme with the Yorkshire and Humber school. It's a year-long programme with study days, action learning sets, a mentor and small start up grant. The first two study days were were in October and next two are in December. I'm meeting my new mentor, John, in Edinburgh at the end of this month
  2. planning the next Urbanistas North East meet up in Broadacre House on 24 November (I'm part of the planning group. Urbanistas is a women-led network for women working on social change in cities)
  3. planning the 2016 collaboration superheroes meet ups and collaboration supperheroes supper clubs (I host (now with Marc Jones and Robert Laycock) collaboration superheroes, a quarterly meet up about learning how to be super at collaboration, and new for 2016, collaboration supperheroes, a supper club. This came out of North East Together, Leaders Network for Social Change)
  4. reading Social Gravity: Harnessing the natural laws of relationships by Jason Lauritsen and Joe Gerstandt for my book group. Our next meeting is in January so there's plenty of time to read the book (in theory)

Being an active citizen

  1. volunteering as a trustee of Northern Creative Solutions, which runs Broadacre House, a meanwhile space project turning an empty 40,000sq ft/6 storey office block in Newcastle upon Tyne into a thriving community hub and home for charities (20 and growing), social action and creativity. It's brilliant
  2. volunteering as a trustee of Scotswood Natural Community Garden. We run and manage a beautiful garden in Scotswood, Newcastle upon Tyne, to help people learn about nature, sustainability and growing and be more healthy
  3. running (with William Mortada and Holli Brown) Newcastle Social Media Surgery to help people (community activists, charities, community groups) to use social media better 

Sequins and Tweed

  1. working on some product lines for the alternative Christmas fair at Broadacre House on 5 December - so far I've made felt ball garlands, repurposed fuzzy felt for Christmas cards, and, inspired by 70s string art, have hand-stitched more Christmas cards - and now need to get on to packaging and pricing
  2. learning how best to mount and frame nursery rhyme vintage playing cards
  3. wondering what to do with this blog

I stole this idea from Derek Sivers. It's such a good idea to steal that loads of other people have done the same and there's now a now page movement plus a website that lists people's /now pages nownownow.com.

31 October 2015

now...October 2015

This is what I'm doing now.

Sharing Learning Doing (my work)

  1. starting an action research project for a Newcastle-based CIC to run until January 2016 (in partnership with Ethical HR Ltd)
  2. waiting to hear about an evaluation project after a recent interview (in partnership with Trapeze Consulting) *update - this one didn't work out, but I'm pleased as it means I can work on another project that was waiting in the wings
  3. helping two organisations to become charities
  4. helping Claire, the Broadacre House manager, to set up a co-working space in Broadacre House
  5. working on the backlog of my bookkeeping - I won't do this again (the backlog not the bookkeeping)
  6. trying to write a regular newsletter to share inspiring, useful and exciting things. The plan was to send it out every two weeks or so but I'm not doing that well - none this month but two in September

My learning and networks

  1. learning social entrepreneur stuff - I'm a student on the School for Social Entrepreneurs 2015-2016 Start up programme with the Yorkshire and Humber school. It's a year-long programme with study days, action learning sets, a mentor and small start up grant. The first two study days were this month (October) and next two are in December. I'm meeting my new mentor, John, in Edinburgh in November
  2. planning the next Urbanistas North East meet up in Broadacre House on 24 November (I'm part of the planning group. Urbanistas is a women-led network for women working on social change in cities)
  3. planning the 2016 collaboration superheroes meet ups and collaboration supperheroes supper clubs (I host (now with Marc Jones and Robert Laycock) collaboration superheroes, a quarterly meet up about learning how to be super at collaboration, and new for 2016, collaboration supperheroes, a supper club. This came out of North East Together, Leaders Network for Social Change)
  4. reading How good we can be by Will Hutton for my book group

Being an active citizen

  1. volunteering as a trustee of Northern Creative Solutions, which runs Broadacre House, a meanwhile space project turning an empty 40,000sq ft/6 storey office block in Newcastle upon Tyne into a thriving community hub and home for charities (20 and growing), social action and creativity. It's brilliant
  2. volunteering as a trustee of Scotswood Natural Community Garden. We run and manage a beautiful garden in Scotswood, Newcastle upon Tyne, to help people learn about nature, sustainability and growing and be more healthy
  3. running (with William Mortada and Holli Brown) Newcastle Social Media Surgery to help people (community activists, charities, community groups) to use social media better 

Sequins and Tweed

  1. working on some product lines for the alternative Christmas fair at Broadacre House on 5 December
  2. learning how best to mount and frame nursery rhyme vintage playing cards
  3. wondering what to do with this blog

I stole this idea from Derek Sivers. It's such a good idea to steal that loads of other people have done the same and there's now a now page movement plus a website that lists people's /now pages nownownow.com.