These pages contain introductions by
people attending the Partnerships
for Tomorrow events September
1995. For other contacts, see IACN
G Scott Aikens
Nick Plant and Morris Williams
I'm doing a Ph.D. at The University of Cambridge in the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences. The title of my work is, "American Democracy and Computer Mediated Communication - A Case Study in Minnesota". Last fall I worked on an electronic democracy project in Minnesota. I organised an on-line candidates debate that was forwarded into a public discussion group of 700 citizen-participants. I'm interested in how such "instrumentalities" might affect the democratic process if widely implemented. I would be particularly interested in how these "instrumentalities" might be translated into British political community.
email@example.com (Nick Bailey)
Tel: 0171 911 5000 x3117
Nick Bailey is a principal lecturer in the School of Urban Development & Planning, University of Westminster. He has carried out extensive research on partnerships and trusts (particularly those involved in urban regeneration) and has recently published "Partnership Agencies in British Urban Policy" (UCL Press, 1995) with Alison Barker & Kelvin MacDonald. He has also developed considerable practical experience of community participation and capacity building through his involvement with community organisations in central London and as co-Chair of the Fitzrovia Trust.
Tel: 0171 434 3315
Formerly a freelance translator of Japanese with a degree in the subject from Sheffield University (1991), I found myself becoming more interested in themachines I was using to do the job than the job of translating itself. After finishing (and publishing) a particularly arduous book on the post-war history of the Japanese monarchy in 1992, I decided to get out of translation and into something in which I could indulge my technological urges.
While working as a freelance researcher and database designer for a trade publication in Stockwell (Programme News magazine) last year, I discovered the then nascent pHreak bulletin board being demonstrated at London's Megatripolis club. I had tried other bulletin boards, but on seeing pHreak, I became an instant addict. This addiction did not go unnoticed by pHreak's owners, Intermedia Associates, who eventually invited me to join them in the construction of their main on-line project, *the frame.* I now work for Intermedia full-time.
I now fill the few hours I have left in the day after working on both pHreak and *the frame* by helping to promote the use of on-line systems by non-profit, community and activist groups/institutions, although I still find time to have a look at the Yomiuri Shimbun from time to time...
Tel: 01273 696955 x4387
I am Senior Medical Physicist in the Medical Physics and Nuclear Medicine Departments, Brighton Health Care NHS Trust, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton. I have used the Internet for a number of years in a technical / scientific capacity whilst working in London teaching hospitals. I conceived the idea of putting World Wide Web pages for Brighton Health Care NHS Trust on the Internet towards the end of 1994. On 20th December, 1994 we went 'live'. Since that date I have managed and developed the web pages further. In the first 3 months 10,000 individuals had accessed the web pages. current accesses are approximately 700 per week. The aim of pages is to provide information about the organisation, such as waiting list statistics, press release, patient services etc. to members of the public, patients and members of the local medical profession.
Within Brighton Health Care we have a Internet Steering Committee, of which I am a member, which advises the Trust on all aspects of the Internet. On 4th July, 1995 we hosted a one day workshop 'Towards an Information Superhighway in Medicine at Sussex University. It was attended by 130 individuals from all over the UK. Speakers included David Wilcox who spoke about community networking. As a result of this we plan to host 'MEDNET 96 - European Congress of the Internet in Medicine' at the Brighton Centre in October 1996. A call for papers will be issued during October this year. I am interested in developing all aspects of the internet as a medical resource for local communities.
Tel: 01273 481619
Head of research at East Sussex County Planning department. Responsible for organising "Multimedia 2000" conference recently held at Sussex University. Currently trying to set up an organisational arrangement that will bring the local commercial, voluntary/community and public sectors together to advance a range of projects exploiting the benefits of new information technology for the citizens and businesses of Sussex.
Tel: 0171 713 6161
Jonathan is the Development Officer of the Rural Team of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. He has written on fundraising for Rural Voluntary Action and on funding from Europe. Previously Assistant Director of Powys Rural Council, he developed several community based projects including a radio station and two rural childcare projects.
Tel: 0121 212 9221
Thurstan Crockett is the new Information Manager for the Shell Better Britain Campaign, which has recently been revised to support community-based sustainable development. A central part of the new Campaign is the three year development of a major Information Service with a commitment to using new media technologies. Thurstan's background is in journalism, campaigning, community action, local group development and fundraising.
Tel: 01908 652183
My interest in the 18th Sept forum is its community network agenda.
I have been involved in setting up and developing Milton Keynes Community Network for the last year or so with a particular interest in its capability to support links between school age students and adults other than teachers both inside and outside of curriculum settings.
MKCN at present involves about 30 groups and organisations and 13 schools in Milton Keynes albeit embryonically. MKCN has a virtual link with another community network in Las Vegas Nevada which to my knowledge at the moment is the first international community to community link of its kind in the world.
MKCN is supported by First Class. We have a gateway to the Internet for communication purposes and are developing means to give schools full internet access. We have done this to a limited extent. We also have an available Web site for local schools and organisations to use. The Mark 1 MKCN home page is at:
http://www-emrg.open.ac.uk/mkcn/mkcn.html from Monday 4th Sept
Tel: 01273 643513
I'm employed as a Research Assistant at the Department of Library and Information Studies, University of Brighton, where I'm also researching a PhD. My main focus is the social impact of Information Communication Technology (ICT) on a variety of communities. I have collaborated with a number of trades unions in raising awareness of ICT related issues such as telework and am currently undertaking a comparative case study of UK and Scandinavian Telecottage initiatives. I am also investigating the potential for a Telecottage initiative in East Sussex with a local authority and educational institutions. My research stems from a human-centred, participative approach to ICT design and development.
I feel strongly that tripartite collaboration and co-operation between public, private and not-for-profit sectors is the only way forward for the development of a socially acceptable information infrastructure. I believe Community Networks to be an exciting and innovative initiative and a refreshing departure from the often techno-economic driven Information Society debate.
Tel: 0171 706 4951
Assistant Director Development Trusts Association, the DTA is a membership organisation for community development trusts and their partners across England, Wales and N.Ireland. Community Development Trusts are partnership organisations engaged in economic, social and environmental regeneration. The Association presently has 120 members.
The DTA provides training, advice, information, consultancy, a regular newsletter, conferences and development support services to members. We are in the process of developing a "new" information system with on-line access for e-mail, bulletin board and WWW. The information system needs to respond the information needs of both our members and partners. We intend to "grow" the information system interactively and organically with our members and partners, it is this work that has dragged me kicking and screaming into the world of the "information superhighway".
My concerns around these developments focus on the feeling of travelling the highway in a "Skoda" (for reasons of resource economy), being aware that many organisations are not even in possession of an appropriate vehicle and some legitimate fears around who does the road building programme and who's involved in any tolling system, in addition to the issues that surround the ability of not for profit organisations and those people they work with and for to access, be empowered by, have interactivity with appropriate information and colleagues and use these tools to take control of their own lives, neighbourhoods, towns, villages etc.
My expectation for the meeting:
* an opportunity to meet other people facing the challenges of this "new world"
* an on-going forum for debate and discussion
* an forum for sharing promising practise and the pleasures and pains of these initiatives
* a place for not for profit organisation to discuss and debate (off and on-line) issues/challenges of particular relevance to them and the sector
* the development of a forum that is inclusive not exclusive
* development of a group which wishes to take the issues outlined above forward development of a group who wish to contribute to each others understanding and learning
My back ground in mostly in the not for profit sector ( paid and unpaid) in community development and community economic development providing information, advice, training, consultancy, management development for not for profit organisations. I have occasionally strayed into the public and private sectors delivering training, development and consultancy services to small and medium enterprises. I have been active in the local voluntary sector wherever I have lived and was until my move to London involved in the development of a community information network (on and off line), which stalled at the hurdle of access to and integration with partners databases and enquiry systems.
Tel: 01223 262759
Peter Durrant is the Co-ordinator of the Brit. Assoc. of Social Workers Special Interest Group on Community Social Work as well as a member of the Standing Committee for Community Development, Assoc. of Community Workers et al. For the past ten years he has worked part-time as a development worker in Cambridge with a recently established Consortium, made up of Health, Community Education and Social Services, working with individuals and families with learning difficulties. Together with a range of other interests including Credit Unions, Food Coops and the like. Or, more philosophically, community development approaches which offer an alternative and/or a complementary approach to mainstream social work.
Tel: 01902 353929
I'm Director of Open Learning at Bilston Community College, where we're in the process of establishing a First Class based Community network, hopefully with European funding, over the next year or so. Our interest in the educational and access side of community networks, but we're working with a wide variety of organisations (schools, SMEs, churches, mosques, tenants associations, voluntary sector groups etc.) to create something which will have spin-offs for all those involved, and a lot more besides. We're planning to develop a WWW site as well, and other projects involving video conferencing, access for the house bound etc.
Tel: 0171 241 2162
Managing Director Computer Access
Computer Access is a not for profit community sector organisation of some 13 years standing that offers independent advice, support, consultancy and training in information technology.
In the last few years, Computer Access has piloted and now implemented a full secure e-mail system (under GeoNet) that now offers full graphic access to and from the Internet. Electronic publishing is also part of their service.
Projects currently include the developing and implementation of a "Teleregion" for East London & the Lee Valley, offering full broad band access across the 6 London Boroughs contained within the region.
As a pioneering organisation within this area of "telematics", Computer Access is keen to disseminate appropriate information as widely as possible to avoid any organisation re-inventing the wheel. Working with Poptel/Soft Solution in this context, current clients range from the CBI to the Labour Party... as well as numerous community sector organisations.
BT European Platform Strategy Manager
David Greenop has worked for BT since graduating in Physics and Logic from Sussex University in 1975. He has a Master degrees in Telecommunications from Essex University. His early work within BT included the development of mathematical models and tools for planning telecommunications networks, he had involvement in the design of BTs current digital network.
Over the last seven years he has been involved in the development of BTs future network and technology vision. This included forward looking work that identified for BT many of the key issues that we now group under the banner of 'Information Superhighways'. David has also been heavily involved in working with other European Telecommunication companies on future pan European strategic studies. The outputs of this European work has influenced the Bangermann Report on The Information Society and the recent G7 conference in Brussels on the same topic. David has become increasingly aware of the social implications of the new technology and in particular how it can be used to exploit and dis-empower the individual rather than enrich our lives.
Tel: 0171 226 5375
Head of Information, Community Development Foundation (since 1987). Formerly British Library Research Fellow studying online use by end users (remember them?). Established Volnet UK database service jointly with the Volunteer Centre UK, online since 1989, on CD ROM since 1993, available through the Internet since 1994. Former Chair of INVOG (Info Workers in Vol Orgs) and ASSIG (Aslib Social Sciences Info Group). Secretary to ITaC (IT & Communities) Working Party, part-funded by BT and IBM, which produced the report 'Press enter' in 1992, and other papers. Served on IBM Community Computing Fund Panel and the associated research group. Er, what else. Currently: Secretary to INSINC, IBM-sponsored working party on Social Inclusion in the Information Society. Carrying out research into 'public libraries, vol orgs and the internet'. Organising conference and drafting strategy paper on public libraries and community development. Working with a consortium of CD agencies to set up a bulletin board and get up to speed using email.
Role: promoting the sharing of information, and its exploitation, in community sector.
Dream: documented, evaluated evidence of the difference this technology can make to community orgs achieving their objectives.
Tel: 0171 381 6276
I am a Japanese postgraduate student at the University of Sheffield , doing an MSc in Information Management. The dissertation that I am working on, is providing MIND's (Mental Health Charity Organisation) information on the Web. Part of this work, requires me to do a research on the use of the Internet by Voluntary Sector Organisations and the various implications related to this. In order to consider the implications of using the Internet, one needs to be aware of what is happening with regard to Community Information Networking. I would be finishing this course by the beginning of September after which I will be moving to London.
Tel: 0181 519 2244
I co-ordinate a team of 11 people - the Community Involvement Unit, working in Newham (East London), the most deprived borough in England and Wales. It also has one of the highest percentages of ethnic minorities in the country (at least 42%) and has the most ethnically diverse population. In short, it is a very exciting place to live and work. We seek to "encourage and equip the people of Newham to work together to effectively tackle issues of poverty, deprivation, discrimination, prejudice, disadvantage and powerlessness." We help in the setting up of community groups, provide training and support in the areas of financial and organisational management to community groups and maintain a library, including access to on-line databases for the benefit of community groups. We also have a strong research programme looking at key issues relating to community and the voluntary sector. Newham Council has been granted #2 million from Europe to set up multi media kiosks around the borough to provide access points for information and help and we have begun working with them on developing the project. We are very new to electronic networking, but are trying to ensure that the voluntary sector in Newham benefits from the technology and, more generally, are wanting to make sure that poor communities are not further excluded by developments in electronic communications.
Ian Pearson graduated in 1981 in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics from Queens University, Belfast . After four years in the defence industry, he joined BT Laboratories, where he was involved in analysing the performance of computer networks and protocols and helped develop ATM transmission over optical networks. He has since become more generalised, covering broadband networks and services, and advising on the telecommunications impacts of new developments throughout information technology.
Tel: 01272 656261
Nick Plant and Morris Williams of the University of the West of England Department of Computing come from a voluntary sector background, and their experience includes IT consultancy, training, support and software development in community organisations, extensive involvement in community development and management training for voluntary organisations. As academic staff in the School of Information Systems, their work remains closely focused on the community and voluntary sector, involving them both for example in the Department's pioneering student consultancy projects in community organisations, voluntary sector consultancy work, and several significant research and development projects.
Morris and Nick are both starting work currently on a local project on the use of new communications technologies in community organisations. Amongst other concerns, this work involves them in: mapping out and evaluating existing "community telematics" provision in the light of the limited general IT infrastructure available to the voluntary sector; defusing the hype and examining in detail at a practical, grass roots local level the potential for new forms of information exchange within the community sector; identifying through pilot sites the telematics infrastructure required to deliver sustainable benefits to community organisations; and disseminating findings regularly in an accessible manner.
The project involves a participative approach including active local partnership work. We are also committed to linkage with partners at a national and international level, for mutual benefit where resources permit. We are for example keen to work on local/regional events linked with national developments, contribute project findings to appropriate publications, and do human and electronic networking around areas of mutual interest.
Individual and project-specific WWW pages are in the pipeline and we will publicise these, and alternative print-based sources of further information, soon. Meanwhile, we can be contacted as shown below.
Tel: 0171 700 0100
I work in the Voluntary Sector Resource Centre library in North London. I am employed by London Voluntary Service Council (LVSC) - the umbrella organisation supporting London's voluntary sector. The library provides information on organisational development issues, such as funding and personnel matters. There is also a social policy section.
We have recently gone online and want to look at ways of using the new technology to enhance the service we provide. We would also like to disseminate information to the voluntary sector in London on what it means to be online, and what the possibilities are, and to encourage their involvement.
I still have a lot to learn about the new technology and I am concerned about the issue of avoiding an information elite, and would like to find ways of encouraging and enabling access and usage of this technology to smaller voluntary groups, not just the larger and more established ones.
In 1994 I converted from engineering to the sociology of science and technology. In my past life I graduated in electrical engineering, did a masters in artificial intelligence, worked for a time for the UK Atomic Energy Authority (no longer, honest!), worked for a firm of patent agents, and then as a research assistant at Lancaster University in conceptual engineering design.
I started a PhD in 1994 on the ways in which technologies and associated practices come to have the stable forms they usually achieve, with a specific interest in information highways. I'm doing this in the Centre for Science Studies and Science Policy at Lancaster University.
My interest in community networks is a result I suppose of work I was doing earlier this year for my PhD and reading Howard Rheingold's book, 'Virtual Community'. Since then I have adopted community networking as a specific arena in which a technology and associated practices are in the process of stabilising, and one related to information highways.
However, I am not playing the part of the good old-fashioned sociologist in all of this. That sociologist would have insisted on maintaining ananalytical distance between herself/himself and the object of study. I do not; indeed I cannot. I certainly wouldn't call myself a technological optimist, still less a technological Utopian. I think the things that people call 'technology' and the other things they usually don't but which nevertheless are inextricably tied up with them are not inherently 'good' or a sure sign of the 'progress of civilisation' (as we approach the 50th anniversary of the atom-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki). I do think we need to rewrite the histories and current discourses of technology.
Tel: 0141 339 7564
I'm now a consultant specialising in local and community economic development. Previously I was the Head of Strathclyde Regional Council's Partnership Office which sought to support and develop initiatives in disadvantaged areas which address issues of economic and social exclusion. During the last 20 years my focus in economic development work has shifted from physical redevelopment projects to more holistic, community and people based approaches. In my new career I am continuing to work in this area, particularly on the use of European funding for economic and social cohesion projects. One of the things that the local economic companies and projects in the West of Scotland have realised is that they are not exploiting the possibilities of electronic networking. I am currently working on the development of a process which will establish this network. firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 01203 711185
Long background in environmental movement, formerly worked for Friends of the Earth in London. Now working with a number of environmental groups helping them get established on the Internet. Also involved in setting up Coventry Community Network
Tel: 01903 884926
I trained as a programmer and a systems designer working on mainframes, but 5 years ago moved over to community research. I worked on self-sustainability of a community environmental networks facilitated by a(personal) computer system (what is she rabbiting on about?!!). Theoutcome of this was published in a practical paper called ' Working Togetherin Sustainable Networks' for Hampshire County Council, CountrysideCommission and English Nature. Since then I have worked on a freelancebasis, providing community IT support and working on some EUTeleworking/Telematics reports (yawn).
I am about to move on again to become the Local Agenda 21 officer for TowerHamlets. I am interested in information management, and people and information leading the technology (as opposed to the current trend)! as well as the potential role of IT in moving towards sustainable living.
Whitmore) 01273 606767
I've been building databases for use by community organisations since 1988 and am currently a director of Information for Action Ltd selling database software and consultancy to a market which is split roughly 75% Voluntary Sector to 25% Statutory Sector. I'm a Clipper programmer and, for my sins, I've now started using Visual Objects to embrace the wacky world of Windows. At various times in the past I've been involved in the running of Brighton's development education centre (Worldwise), our local cycle campaign group (Bricycles) and, to a lesser extent, got caught up in a whole range of campaigns and lost causes.
Tel: 01273 677377
I spent 12 years as a journalist, mainly with the Evening Standard in the 1970s. Since then I have worked as a consultant, trainer and writer specialising in community participation and partnership building. I have been the voluntary chair of the North Kensington Amenity Trust (developing 20 acres of land under a motorway), and I'm now chair of the North Laine Community Association (or Bohemian Brighton as the official guide has it).
I'm interested in community electronic networks because they seem to challenge elites. The readers become writers, public bodies are challenged to put information into the public domain, partnerships become more widely based IF..... people have access to the technology, the information and discourse is well structured, and virtual communities are based on real ones.
I am currently studying and working at the University College of St.Martin, Lancaster, in the Community and Youth Studies dept.
I research computer networks and the implications for communities, workers and trainers, and am actively involved in the development and establishment of a college wide campus network (linking the department to the whole internet) which will be in place in the Autumn.
My specific interest (research) areas include:
* Development and use of the internet by community agencies and groups, resulting intercommunication, use of the WWWeb for this process.
* Internet accessibility and equal opportunities in accessing networked(internet) communications and informational resources.