I have not been on the blog for the last few weeks due to the fact I had to finish one of the most inspiring courses I have ever been privileged to have studied. Around this time twelve months ago I was lucky enough to be one of the chosen few to gain a place on the Nurse First Course in Social Innovation. As part of the programme, I had to take a problem, work out an innovative solution, raise the funding to pilot the solution and implement it. My own project is looking to reduce the number of parents with a learning disability having their child/children placed onto a child protection plan by offering a early intervention scheme to support parents to engage with services, and to build strong circles of support. The plan is now at the stage where we are actively sourcing potential funding.
The Nurse First programme has been accredited as a Post Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation, the first of its kind in the UK and in Europe. It is the first diploma which rewards participants for actually delivering a project, rather than just writing essays (I’m sure I wrote 15,000 words).
How is this connected to the conference ? well to begin with the whole paperclip conference was inspired by a paperclip challenge originally set at NurseFirst, and secondly, a Ted Talk by Seth Godin (Feb 2009) on how the method of spreading or creating an idea as changed may be the key to making the StC report come alive. Seth talks in this video about how to make things change we need to form tribes of similar people with similar values and beliefs. Once this tribe is formed it then increases its network by finding similar minded people and making them aware of the tribe. For a tribe to succeed it needs to build a local network, find an objective and develop cohesion. Eventually this tribe will become a movement.
So how about an #StC tribe ? we have the objectives already via the Strengthening the Commitment and the Modernising Learning Disability Nursing reports. The developing cohesion will be one of the aims of the conference we are holding, but it really need local tribes to make this happen. What shape these local tribes take is up for debate but without them the reports stated above will stay just that, reports. The innovative idea of making a pledge by Sam Abdulla is the start of making the reports come alive; this will be reinforced at the conference when we will ask all delegates to make their own StC pledge.
Part of the new tribes objectives according to Seth Godwin’s Ted Talk is to Challenge the status quo, ask questions, and to commit to the cause. The StC could be the tribe to do this and maybe we can talk about this at the conference.
So the conference. The venue is confirmed, its at the amazingly innovative Public venue in West Bromwich. The day will be a mix of presentations and workshops with the conference ending with an awards ceremony with a twist. The event will be co-run with local learning disability advocacy groups and the catering is going to be supplied by a learning disability catering company. On the night we will have an evening of entertainment from people with a learning disability. The date is the 20th September. I have not signed the forms for the venue yet so please wait a short while before booking your hotels.
Rebecca Hill (Debramoore Associates) and myself will be fine tuning the final programme and will announce how to get your tickets as soon as we can. It will be free entry to the conference but on the evening we will be looking to charge £5 entry to the entertainment show with all profits going to the two self advocacy groups helping manage the event.
So nearly there guys, thanks for all the support and we will be in touch with all the speakers over the next week to confirm times etc.