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The Networked City exploration

Networked City is an exploration into the role of network thinking and digital technology in reframing London's civil society and supporting social action. Our main initiative is Connecting Londoners, about which more below, and on our blog.

The exploration was started by David Wilcox and Drew Mackie on behalf of the London Voluntary Service Council, and is now being led by Matt Scott with David and Drew and a group formed following a launch event on January 10 2017.

The exploration aims to:

Latest - our game to design a Platform for London

Our Way Ahead and Connecting Londoners ran a workshop with about 50 people on November 16 2017 at London Metropolitan University to play through how to develop networked support systems for civil society.

During an hour and a half session we heard about current plans for support systems focussed on a Hub; adopted roles from concerned citizen to network leader and council officer; reviewed challenges and ideas from a consultant’s report; developed further ideas, and then chose methods and actions to carry them out.

We negotiated how we could support each other with funding, endorsement, and sharing. And we decided who could deliver on the ideas. We then captured our reports of the project ideas on video - and discussed what we had learned from the session.

Connecting Londoners

We are developing Connecting Londoners as an initiative for anyone interested in how people, projects and organisations can cooperate and collaborate better for social good.

We are exploring three linked challenges as services and funding are cut, and the ways that people communicate are changing rapidly:

  • how will Londoners in future find out where to get help for themselves or their families in times of need; find local activities that interest them; share or sell items or services; find opportunities to volunteer; campaign for or against change in their community … and organise projects?
  • how can individuals, groups and organisations make use of the Internet - together with other methods - to cooperate and collaborate more effectively?
  • how can we ensure that those most in need, and most vulnerable, are not excluded by these changes?

More here on Connecting Londoners including these founding projects:

  • Network mapping and development of a Living Lab: the Lab simulates the fictitious but realistic London Borough of Slipham. Workshop participants take on roles and address challenges facing the citizens and community of Slipham, using a range of digital and other methods. At the heart of Slipham is a network map of relationships that may be enhanced during game play and which generates measurements of changing community connectivity. More here on Slipham
  • JustMap: an ongoing collaborative map developed through public workshops organised at neighbourhood festivals or specific community events. Its goal is to highlight communities resources and projects, connect actors campaigning for a fairer London and identify strategic cooperations.
  • an innovative, easy to use, online tool for local community groups, which helps them communicate in many ways (web publishing, email, mailing lists, social media and print) and also links groups with other groups in their locality using networked community websites, noticeboards and emails.
  • CommunityConnect which is a digital solution that joins up information about services in a local area. It has been adopted by the London Borough of Dagenham and Barking as BanD Together.
  • Providing mapping and technology support to community groups and community builders engaged in asset based community development - Superhighways


The Story of Networked City and Connecting Londoners
Summary and links to blog posts and other resources

Exploring how London can be a more Networked City
A background paper for our launch event on January 10 2017, including a summary of The Way Ahead initiative, models for cooperation and collaboration in the networked age, the development process for our exploration.

Supporting co-production
A note for The Way Ahead group on co-production, covering models for engagement, cooperation and collaboration, and the idea of local ecosystems.

Connecting Citizens
A paper summarising an approach to using digital technology, network thinking and self-organising to address three linked challenges: how people can find opportunities and services, and develop new relationships in their local communities; how to develop civic infrastructure when existing systems are reducing and new approaches are needed; supporting community connectors in their role of making connections and building relationship in local communities, and online

Connecting Londoners
Our main projects, as summarised above.

Slipham Living Lab
Our workshop playing through how to use digital tech and other methods to help connect people and organisations in the fictitious borough of Slipham

Mapping London networks
Report of the network mapping exercise undertaken by Drew Mackie at the Our Way Ahead event on July 21 2017


  • Matt Scott @matt_lvsc
  • David Wilcox @davidwilcox
  • Drew Mackie @admaque
start.txt · Last modified: 2017/11/24 08:45 by davidwilcox