On 21st May 2012 an audience of awesome people came to Somerset house for a Big society event – an evening with Martyn Sibley. Martyn is one their ‘nexters’ from his social enterprise activities online for disabled people. Karl James interviewed Martyn on his personal experiences leading into his projects and looks at the future of sunnier days. Artistic minutes were taken by Narartive!

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“Today the Big Society Network (http://thebigsociety.co.uk/) and the Network of National Volunteer-Involving Agencies (NNVIA – http://www.csv.org.uk/about-us/strategic-partnerships/nnvia) brought together inspiring social entrepreneurs , known as Nexters, to showcase innovative ways of using social media to strengthen communities, particularly excluded or isolated groups.

The Nexters, who are part of the Big Society Network, are charged with developing new ways to enable people to volunteer time, expertise or money, or to engage democratically with public services and with civil society. All use networked technologies, such as web, mobile or games to ensure their services deliver maximum impact and are accessible to everyone in the UK.  Organisations involved include the National Trust, Breast Cancer Care, Leonard Cheshire, Guide Dogs and CSV.”

I am not a ‘nexter’ but was kindly asked to speak in partnership with Leonard Cheshire. The video shows a short piece of the workshop I facilitated. I explained my message of positivity to disabled people, the projects I run and the technology that enables this.

The feedback outlined the ‘fear’ of technology and people being unsure how to apply it to their cause or to their organisation. My response is worry about the vision and message. Only learn about social media as a tool for your cause, not as an outcome. The tools I use are great, low cost and far reaching. In time it can work for everyone and everything!