Book Fest Hong Kong 2016

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Break time, seen from the 8th floor of the Kellet School in Hong Kong…

Sue Martin and the Books go Walkabout team are in Hong Kong this week. (May 2016)

Working in partnership with The Kellett School, with generous funding from the school Annual Fund, Sue and a fabulous creative team of authors, photographers and poets, are delivering Book Fest across two campuses on the island.

The programme of work, is designed to add value to the schools curriculum around writing, story creation and delivery, as well as creativity and critical thinking about form and content.

The work is delivered by Australian Author Carole Wilkinson, Nigerian author and photographer Ifeoma Onyefulu and poet and writer Cheryl Moskowitz.

bookIconImageYou can see the daily narratives and galleries of the creative energy generated on the project pages of Books go Walkabout here.

After the week long event we will be publishing our learning and recommendations for trans-continental book and literacy project delivery, as well as celebrating, in detail, the work of the children who were enthused and creatively encouraged by our authors. Watch this space for details.


Editor’s Note:

SmithMartin LLP,  through the vehicle of their international books and literacy project, Books go Walkabout, are actively seeking more project partners in both the USA and Africa.

We use our project management, book procurement and curriculum support skills to devise, develop and deliver cross community, cross art form projects to interested clusters of schools, community organisations or tertiary education settings.

Contact Sue Martin at SmithMartin LLP for informal discussions at any time.

Image credit: Eigth floor image courtesy of Sue Martin
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International projects created and delivered…

Tailor Made: How do community groups improve society?

 

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Supporting community, supporting society…

Research from the Community Development Foundation shows that vital contributions from small community groups are making huge benefits nationally to society.

Today sees the launch of a research project ‘Tailor Made: how community groups improve people’s lives’; from The Community Development Foundation.

The CDF have developed a specific micro-site, where the range of research into community group impact can be found. See more detail here.

‘Nearly all of the groups identified as being under the radar, are providing tailored services to their community with an income of less than £2,000 a year. With increasing pressure on public funding, we are using this research that demonstrates the important contribution that community groups make to society as a call to action to secure their future.

The research found that community groups are able to develop ‘tailor-made’ support for people in their communities. They complement statutory services because they have the flexibility to meet specific needs with groups of people or whole communities – providing bespoke support.

The types of outcomes of the work being carried out by these groups include:

  • building safer communities: They prevent crime, support victims of crime and support ex-offenders in rebuilding their lives
  • improving the physical environment: They maintain and improve the physical environment including parks, allotments and buildings
  • improving health and well-being: They tackle the wider causes of poor health and wellbeing such as poverty, housing, employment, crime, pollution and isolation
  • improving local economies:They provide training and support to help people into work. They also contribute to economic growth by supporting people to start small businesses and helping people to manage their money better so there is more to spend locally.’
Posted on cdf blog 29.10.2014

The community groups provide ‘lived experience’ of the issues they are working with which provides a unique insight to support other forms of knowledge. The trust gained by these groups makes people in communities more likely to come forward for help and support.

The research project can be viewed on Community Development Foundation website, as a downloadable document or as a series of chapters on the Tailor-Made research page.

It was jointly funded by The Community Development Foundation, Asda Foundation and Trust for London.

Sue Martin – SmithMartin Partnership LLP, Cambridge- building better communities

Making connections in the Storyverse

We think that our projects are about making connections. Connecting children with books, connecting people with communities, making information freely available on-line for those communities of interest…revealing new things in new ways.

We do use technology, we love the web for its endless potential to reveal and strive to make access to that information and the connections as simple, yet as meaningful as possible.

We recently came across the Small Demons web site. This makes connections from within books, to all the elements of a story that you might think are important.

Small Demons sets out to index the content of books, but to also allow you to cross reference that content with other books, allowing you to build your own Storyboard. This short film gives you a flavour of the intellectual possibilities for your Storyboard…

 

 

As you would expect, the site is fully integrated with all the social media connections you will need to share your Storyboard. (If you have added a book, the site offers viewers the opportunity to buy it too, of course).

You can see a quickly created example of a Storyboard, using some of our interests with the keyword ‘community’ here.

Small Demons is a new way to explore texts, but it definitely captured our imagination.

You can see our books and making connections projects here…

Books go Walkabout        City Stories           Thirdsectorweb

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Authorities – give away your space?
Become an ideas enterprise…

ideasPic55We were reading an interesting web article about the internet giant AOL and how they had made available, at no charge, the 225,00 square feet of office space they own in Palo Alto – aimed at cultivating entrepreneurs, business start ups and technical ideas.

It started us thinking as to why the model is not more prevalent in the UK.

We hear much about the surge in social enterprise and the third sector taking up contracts to deliver innovative new services. The author of this article has recently been working with a company in the North of England to generate a new business, the aim of which is to train and employ as many young people as possible as the business rolls out.

The experience with the local authority in driving forward the enterprise has not been free wheeling or innovative, to say the least.

After people, the cost of premises and space to think, deliver and store everything from servers to the coffee machine occupies a huge part of the budgetary planning.

Getting the premises, and securing access and delivery in them would have no doubt crippled the nascent business had the young people involved been ‘going it alone’.

Our solution was to find an innovative proprosal, driven by our ethical business model, but supplied by the private sector too. (An idea with currency, but not necessarily the right one?)

We would argue for enterprise start ups the cost of premises from local authority landlords should bear no cost.

Why? How can this be sustainable? Well, encouraging ideas and energy into a community, as in the AOL model, serves to reinvigorate a local economy. It provides cash flow to local, already established businesses.

For the local authority it could see an enabling of redundant public assets, which could be empty at present, to encourage the economic base dramatically – making living, energetic buildings and spaces out of often moribund brick edifices.

In my home town there are a number of empty civic buildings which shadow their access roads, offering echoing corridors, but which do not directly invest in the next generation of rate payers, tax contributors and future employers.

Come on elected members, break out of cost restraint mindsets, ease up a little on portfolio risk in the estates department – and truly create an innovation led, enterprise driven local economic framework.

Don’t be an owner of capital, be the owner of an ideas development factory. The young people in your area would love you for it.

You can see the original article by Douglas MacMillan on the Bloomberg Business website here.

Article: Tim Smith – Partner at SmithMartin LLP