This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
“Your Square Mile” is about enabling citizens to make changes in as many of the other 92,998 square miles as possible. There are an estimated 900,000+ community groups in the UK and 238,000 Social Entrepreneurs. We want to enable citizens to find and join these organisations easily, using their own needs and passions as a starting point, and to feel able to start their own neighbourhood groups. We want to link these groups, social enterprises and communities to each other to share ideas and resources, complementing the role of existing umbrella organisations. We want to create a platform to enable and empower all kinds of citizens and social entrepreneurs to achieve things their way: be an “ i‐phone for their apps.” Our Vision To create the U.K’s biggest mutual: A Union for Citizens called “Your Square Mile”. Our Mission To encourage citizens to be the change they want to see in the world via the square mile where they live and/or work. To do this we will: • Negotiate national ‘dividends’ and benefits for members that encourage and enable them to get involved in their communities and local social action projects, e.g. cheaper, better liability insurance, or access to public buildings and facilities • Develop a technology platform that provides people with information about local action opportunities and the best social tools and ideas from around the U.K. and the world • Build a social ecosystem around this platform, allowing people to showcase their participation, give feedback on groups and projects, and build peer groups • Provide neighbourhood groups and social enterprises with access to a ‘ring of support’ from other organisations, linking them to tools, best practices, services and expertise that will help them amplify their work and replicate / be replicated widely As a mutual, Your Square Mile will be a new, powerful voice – one that speaks on behalf of active citizens, and makes a significant contribution to the national discourse. Our Structure A Mutual: an organisation owned by its members and run for their benefit. Every citizen in England and Wales (and the rest of the UK as soon thereafter as possible) can use the network to achieve their goals and, by registering their activity, become a shareholder in the network.
They will receive dividends in the form of financial and in‐kind benefits from a range of partners, including private, public and non‐profit sponsors. Our Key Steps and Goals Over the summer and autumn of 2010 we will engage in a public co‐designing process to gather ideas and best practice, to raise awareness and solicit feedback on our proposals for Your Square Mile. Concurrently, we will work with commercial and non‐commercial partners to develop a benefits package for membership and a delivery platform that will be as inclusive and easy to use as possible (including PC’s, mobiles, public kiosks and other technologies as well as printed materials, community centres and face‐to‐face meetings.) By December 2010 we will have launched Phase 1 of the mutual providing national tools, advice and practical benefits such as highly affordable liability insurance for all kinds of local volunteering and events. We will gather local information from our growing body of members and conduct pilots in 2011 to learn how best to implement services. Working community‐by‐community and learning from what works and what doesn’t, we will focus initially on key population centres and then gradually transition to the entire UK – much like the expansion of a mobile phone operator. Our Key Partners Above all, we will work with Britain’s thousands of social entrepreneurs, community organisers and active citizens, and support them by helping to create a culture of civic engagement. We will seek to partner with the 5,000 planned Community Coordinators and other community leaders as Ambassadors for our movement: talent‐spotters, cross‐pollinators and enablers of local ideas. To build on the local actions of individuals and neighbourhood groups, we will work with national government, local authorities and councils as well as local and national businesses and professional services firms. We will raise support and funding from individuals, foundations and businesses. How Will We Measure Success? We will focus measurement on the following tangible outcomes: ‐ Numbers of individuals and new or existing organisations registered with The Big Society Network ‐ Numbers of active community / neighbourhood groups ‐ Levels of self‐reported trust amongst neighbours and in society at large ‐ Number of citizen petitions and ideas delivered constructively to Government via the Network ‐ Numbers of neighbourhood websites and online groups ‐ Numbers of neighbourhood gatherings such as The Big Lunch