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VIDEO: Morning Panel

February 1st, 2010 by Marcus Hickman

So its almost a week after the conference and some of you might be getting a bit hazy about particular questions asked, the name of the famous thinker referenced by the panel or what tie Adam Sampson wasn’t wearing.

The good news is we have a special treat for you in the form of live streaming videos of all panel discussions, John Bercow’s lunchtime address and Peter Tatchell’s keynote! All of them are available for your instant consumption in full technicolor video and 24 hours a day, forever. Enjoy :)

To start you off here’s the morning’s lively debate on whether political change after the election will be a threat or opportunity for the voluntary sector. Chaired by Christopher Hope from the Daily Telegraph other panelists were freelance journalist Ed Howker, Campaign to Protect Rural England’s Shaun Spiers and a particularly on form Adam Sampson, formerly CEO of Shelter and the Office for Legal Complaints.

VIDEO: John Bercow MP

February 1st, 2010 by Marcus Hickman

After the morning workshops delegates returned to the main hall for the lunchtime address from Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP.

His address focused on the expenses scandal and the need for politicians to regain the public’s, and ideally the voluntary sector’s, trust.

VIDEO: Afternoon Panel

February 1st, 2010 by Marcus Hickman

The post-lunch afternoon panel was set to be a heated debate split along political dividing lines. Perhaps (or perhaps not) surprisingly the panelists seemed to agree on a great many things.

Chaired by NCVO director of public policy, Liz Atkins, the panel consisted of Oliver Letwin MP, Danny Alexander MP and Chuka Umunna PPC.

VIDEO: Keynote speaker Peter Tatchell

February 1st, 2010 by Marcus Hickman

The Day was wrapped up with an inspirational keynote from Peter Tatchell. Founding member of OutRage!, regular contributing blogger on the Guardian and member of the Green Party , Peter Tatchell is one of the country’s most well known campaigners. He’s actively campaigned for more than 42 years and has proven fearless in the face of the world’s most notorious human rights abusers (as his two attempted citizen’s arrest of Robert Mugabe attest too). Peter was also named campaigner of the Year 2009 by The Observer.

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#Newpol: wrap-up of a great day

January 27th, 2010 by Jadis Tillery

Wow. We made it. We managed to get through two panel discussions, 12 workshops, an inspirational keynote speech and drinks in the Lords’ in one piece.

We want to say a big ‘thank you!’ to everyone who came along to yesterday’s event and helped make it happen. Our Twitterfall has even caused a bit of a stir over at Civil Society magazine!

If you couldn’t make it – and even if you did – we really recommend taking some time to check out all the great content that was captured from around the conference and published on this site. There’s loads of images, audio interviews and comment and analysis from our live reporters so take a look.

Here’s our highlights to get you started:

Steve Lawson from the Amplified team posted some great content live from the event and his analysis of how Social Media is leading to Social Action is good starter. Steve also gives a good overview of some of the key trends he saw emerging from the event in this post.

Off-site, Ian Noon from the National Deaf Children’s Society has already posted his thoughts from the day and highlights an inspiring quotation from the keynote speaker, Peter Tatchell:

      it’s good to take risks, be provocative and stir up trouble once in a while

      Maybe he was referring to our now famous Twitterfall! :)

      For a visual rendition of the day, make sure you take a look at the Flickr stream of photos from the day with the tag #newpol – and don’t forget to add that tag when you upload your pics. Ben Ellis’s Posterous blog also has a nice slideshow of his photos from the day too.

      The Amplified team also recorded a series of Audioboo interviews with speakers. Here’s Stella Creasy, Labour PPC for Walthamstow & the Scout Association’s Head of Campaigns talking passionately about the power social media offers campaigners (all the audioboo’s from the day can be found here).

            Speaking of Peter Tatchell: without shadow of a doubt he was the most inspirational speaker of the day.

            Founding member of OutRage!, regular contributing blogger on the Guardian and member of the Green Party , Peter Tatchell  is one of the country’s most well known campaigners.  He’s actively campaigned for more than 42 years and has proven fearless in the face of the world’s most notorious human rights abusers (as his two attempted citizen’s arrest of Robert Mugabe attest too). Peter was also named campaigner of the Year 2009 by The Observer.

            We’ll have video footage of his speech up on the site very soon indeed.   In the meantime, you can read a timely profile of the great man, published in this week’s Third Sector and listen to him chat to Steve about the best and worst of the web for campaigners

            From Social Media to Social Action.

            January 26th, 2010 by Steve Lawson

            NCVO - Campaigns Conference - The New Politics

            Image by @benjaminellis

            When ‘awareness’ isn’t enough.
            (Text by Steve Lawson)

            We spend a huge amount of time raising awareness about issues. We’re really good at it. It’s a very British thing to do. We write letters to local newspapers, we write to our MP, we talk to other people about them doing something.

            The web makes it so much easier to raise awareness. We can join facebook groups, we can ‘retweet’ quotes and links – we don’t even need to click the link to do it. Actions like the campaign against Jan Moir and her odious writing in the Mail suggest that people can mobilize if they are incensed enough, but did the Mail’s circulation drop? Did anyone continue to hold the Mail to account for the odious writing they publish every other day of the year? Some may have, the vast majority didn’t. They felt justified that Moir was vilified, and were happy that justice was served via twitter.

            Were we wrong to retweet the Jam Moir story? Or Trafigura? Of course not – both were instances of genuine outrage at things that more people should know about (though in the case of the Mail there’s perhaps a lesson about the oxygen of publicity). Raising awareness is not a bad thing in an of itself. And it is what the web does best. But the link between that diffuse outrage across a social network – connected only by a hashtag or membership of a facebook group – and action, physical protest, changes in behaviours, habits, conversations with people who don’t already agree with us, boycotts, fund-raising… that’s the tricky bit.

            And it’s why, when thinking about the use of social media in a campaign, literacy is WAY more important than policy - have ‘rules’ for twitter usage may end up being counter-productive for your organisation. Understanding the way that your fellow Twitter-users engage with the things they find on there is vital to making your campaign materials usable, shareable, clickable, and to them leading to a higher proportion of actions. Same for facebook groups. I’ve just been listening to an Jackie Schneider of Merton Parents For Better Food In Schools talking about Local activism, and she referenced the power of the ‘easy win’ – of people dipping their toe into the campaigning world seeing the fruits of their labours early on as motivation to keep going. It’s a brilliant and simple observation, and one that’s well learned online. Have a listen to her talking about it:

            This is also where information aggregators come in so useful, and where Louder.org.uk can be used to great effect to link Social Media presences and content to actions, both online and off. As a way of integrating email campaigns with contacting MPs, signing petitions and disseminating information about protests and other actions, Louder is designed to make the transition from awareness to action as easy as possible.

            Emerging Themes at #newpol

            January 26th, 2010 by Steve Lawson

            NCVO - Campaigns Conference - The New Politics

            Image by @BenjaminEllis

            The day is drawing to the late afternoon here at the NCVO New Politics Campaigns Conference and we thought we’d highlight a couple of key themes that have emerged out of the panels, discussions and web-wide conversations.

            - Keeping it local
            - Social media and the web

            Making campaigns locally relevant - many of the workshops and the representatives of the varied charities and NGOs in attendance have been highlighting a need for a return to grassroots politics/activism. Combatting the fatigue of the big national yah-boo politics (whether in evidence or constructed by the media) and reaching out to people on a local (individual) level. This approach is also more likely to appeal to the PPCs that charities and NGOs need on their side to bring about political change, and keeps their campaigns relevant. For more discussion on this issue give the following audioboo a listen:


            Social media and the web
            - though the conference opened with the fear that social media and technology might remove the need for campaigning organisations, the majority of delegates and workshops were very enthusiastic about the opportunities that social media allowed for grass roots, online activism. The opening notion suggested that tech was taking over, whereas the majority of the attendees recognised social media as one of many tools at their disposal. Social media can be a really useful and easy way of connecting to some your community – not all, and that’s why it’s only one tool of many. Unfortunately the ‘brand new – all change’ version of the social media story touted by the media makes many resistant, or leads them to highlight all the things it doesn’t do (reflective, face to face, sustained, or sustainable debate). The workshops focussed on social media as facilitating conversation – conversations that can’t happen online if you wouldn’t have them offline – you need to understand to whom and why you’re talking, as well noting that the reason there’s so much focus on it is because it’s new and is useful to learn to use, not because it’s the be all and end all of political and community engagement.

            Have a listen to this excellent audioboo with Stella Creasy, Labour PPC for Walthamstow and head of campaigns at the Scout Association chatting with @solobasssteve about Social Media and Power to the People.


            Want to comment on any of the conversations going on? Got some big ideas of your own? Join in on the comments thread of this post.

            Afternoon panel live blog.

            January 26th, 2010 by Hannah Nicklin

            ‘Knowing your left from your right – dividing lines at the 2010 election’

            Panellists:
            - Oliver Letwin MP, Chairman of the Conservative Policy Review
            - Danny Alexander MP, Chair of the Liberal Democrat Manifesto Group
            - Chuka Umunna, Labour PPC

            Want to comment on any of the conversations going on? Got some big ideas of your own? Join in on the comments thread of this post.

            Live Stream of John Bercow

            January 26th, 2010 by Hannah Nicklin

            A quick mobile live stream of John Bercow’s pre-lunch speech.

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            Image by @benjaminellis

            Want to comment on any of the conversations going on? Got some big ideas of your own? Join in on the comments thread of this post.

            Images from #newpol

            January 26th, 2010 by Hannah Nicklin

            A slideshow of images taken by @benjaminellis of the day’s proceedings, updated as they’re added.

            See more via the flickr tag.

            Want to comment on any of the conversations going on? Got some big ideas of your own? Join in on the comments thread of this post.