FutureEverything enables and nurtures communities to help realise a truly participatory society. We believe a focus on active and engaged communities can help to generate connectivity, build capacity, enable innovation, unlock potential, empower people, enliven places, improve wellbeing and increase opportunity.
We believe a focus on community has an intrinsic value in its own right, and that active, engaged communities of citizens, developers, designers, activists and businesses can build resilience into an innovation ecosystem – a bottom-up, demand-side approach, the opposite to top-down masterplanning. Drew Hemment was commissioned by the Guardian to write a comment piece of our approach for a Smarter Cities supplement with IBM, Community is king, so build up your social capital and get connected.
SMARTMCR – Smart Citizen Manchester
SMARTMCR, the Smart Citizen Manchester community, is a group interested in sensors and sensing. The Smart Citizen Kit (SCK) is a bottom-up environmental sensing platform, now live in Manchester. It enables citizens to become active in capturing, sharing and making sense of data on the local environment, through the use of low-cost sensors. Manchester is the third city, with Amsterdam and Barcelona, to establish a local Smart Citizen community. The SMARTMCR community meet regularly to develop new ideas for the project, discuss how the devices, interfaces and design of the kits can be improved for future deployments, and develop new tools and uses for the data produced.
Open Data Manchester
The Open Data Manchester community was formed through FutureEverything’s Open Data Cities programme in 2009. This independent community of developers, businesses and open data activists continues to thrive and meet monthly five years later. Open Data Manchester has played a vital role in the development of open data in Manchester. For our project Open Data Cities, it was essential we had support from the grassroots community for three reasons:
1. Grassroots community would prove the demand case for open data.
2. This community is most likely to see the potential of data outside the purpose for which it was originally intended.
3. The knowledge held within the community is essential in enabling local authorities to release data.
We’d love to talk to you about how help you build your community. For further details of this service please contact Tom Rowlands, firstname.lastname@example.org