April 27, 2014, 10:49 a.m.
A Day of Ideas at FutureShift http://bit.ly/1otabvR

From Glastopolitics to Default World

So what did we find out at the @futureshift_cc Festival?

The workshops, the kiosks and the hacks were there to provide the environment for people from different backgrounds to come together in a convivial way.

Where, like Glastonbury, for people coming for the first time, it might be about going to see the Rolling Stones (who would be Rolling Stones for civic change?), but then you discover the different tents, the campfire conversations and even try the magic potions on the hills. What I call Glastopolitics.

A Glastopolitics, where groups can work together where they feel most comfortable, whether that’s on the fringes or on the main stage.

Glastonbury is a hive of creativity and disruption all in the open air. But what’s that got to do with creative activism?

Well, we may not call it research when we ask people out of work what would help them, because for them it’s just what we do.

We may not call it developing a service when people set up a project to help people have a conversation with the police, because it’s just what we do.

We may not call it social entrepreneurship when people want to make internships fairer, it’s just what we do.

We may not call it campaigning when people bring in designers and artists to…think, act and vote, it’s just what we do. We may not call it Glastopolitics, because it’s just what we do.

Glastopolitics weaves relationships amongst networks of passionate people. It crafts mini social movements through deep collaboration between people from different walks of life. It threads ideas together to create better conditions for campaigns and projects to get in the spotlight. Unlike Glastonbury you never get bogged down, but you can get sticky.

And then you want to come back not next year, but next week...to catch up with the people you met round the campfire, and to discover new experiences.

In fact forget the analogy with Glastonbury, Burning Man is a better analogy. And although there was no burning of temples and Birmingham isn't the Nevada desert, @futureshift_cc had that feel.

But through the conversations I had, we don't need to wait for next year, we are all creating a "default world" for creative civic change. That's what I get the feeling that beyond the investment, beyond the programme itself, is what the Civic Foundry is trying to nurture.

Written by @noelito. Illustrated by @misspearlgrey.

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