Campfire Convention: lighting fires everywhere for a new political discussion
We are delighted to be scheming and dreaming with Pete Lawrence's Campfire Convention - a "co-operative network based on the empowerment of collaboration and shaping the future for the better. We meet online and at events." (And here's a list of upcoming events):
Some more from their opening blurb:
Campfire is about:
A passion for living,
A desire to be part of a stimulating community, energised by ideas, initiatives and mutual support,
A thirst for information, knowledge, ideas and engaging with new people,
A quest for social change and new ways of doing things – whether in business, personal or community life.
Pete has an amazing creative/festival CV, as initiatior of the Big Chill, co-founder of Cooking Vinyl records, and much else.
Here's more from Pete on his utopian vision for Campfire:
It is abundantly clear that the age of the knowledge economy has not delivered all that it promised. Algorithms, robotics and automation have hugely reduced the need for human work; at the same time the service economy has produced many bad jobs (maybe we should take it a stage further and called them toxic) with zero hours contract, poor wages and low or zero job fulfilment.
Larger tech companies have increased their turnover exponentially and become the biggest companies in the world, but delivered precious little towards social infrastructure, education, skills and health. They've also been very efficient at escaping what many consider to be their fair share of taxation, by a long shot. Not only does it mean government working together with industry and unions to create a new environment which takes on board the new economy and the way jobs have changed, but also government needs to be pro-actively supportive towards the rapidly growing numbers of owner-managed businesses, sole traders, self employed creatives as well as becoming savvy to the potential of new communities to foster and promote collective intelligence and create value through their membership.
I have a few ideas to hopefully get the ball rolling, particularly relating to communities and specifically what we can achieve as a new community. The creative process for conceptualising can take various paths - it might well start with the absorbing and unravelling of a wealth of fast-flowing information, spotting trends, looking at what isn't working, reaching some form of consensus feeling amongst those around us. Then allowing time to mull over and meditate on the raw material - dreaming of how we might shape the future, in effect, before starting to create and shape ideas which are able to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing world. From there, seeking out new models that can map onto a morphing social and work infrastructure, using as the central tenet the time-honoured (though previously unfashionable) altruistic notion of 'the good of all'.
Whilst there may be more scientific or logical ways of arriving at solutions, that lightbulb moment is equally likely to come from a few moments of utopian dreaming. We all know what we feel is most wrong with the world...what if our daydreams actively worked through to practical solutions which could then be applied to structures, policies, models of behaviour, interaction production, marketing, sharing or selling?