“I believe that we need more thinking to create sustainable communities, and the right to describe their own reality is one of them” Simon Safari chair of the Tenants’ Association Botkyrka Stockholm.
I have just come back from the “Breaking the Silence” conference in Stockholm where I was speaking about Community Reporting and using social media as a community engagement tool.
The conference on the 19th February 2011 was organised by DIN Lokaltidning (Your Voice) an online newspaper based in Sollentuna along with Tenants Associations in Botkyrka and Sollentuna in Stockholm. The conference explored how communities can break the silence and engage with public agencies in more meaningful ways.
Over 60 people attended the event and included people from the Swedish public services, newspapers, TV and NGOs and took place at the Xenta Centre in Tumba.
I also talked about how Community Reporters can be used to develop neighborhood Social Media communication hubs and how reporters produce a variety of high quality, interesting and relevant local content about their communities. There was interest from participants about this and on how content from communities can appear on Swedish TV. Apart from the fact that it was -22 outside the presentation seemed to be warmly received!
Other presenters included the Botkyrka Community Theatre an innovative dance project that used dance and drama to produce local guides using local residents. Megaphone ,a youth project which worked with people on a local estate to get there voice heard. Rouzbeh Djalaie also described “Your Local Newspaper ” that works in Stockholm and distributes 37 000 copies of Järvafältet. The conference had a Skype presentation from the MEM project, an EU-Project for Civil Rights and citizenship operating throughout europe and coordinated by MIRA Media in Holland. This project emphasised the importance of creating a sustainable living contact with the local community.