Guest blogger and Collaboration Station founding member Gemma writes an update for us this week, ahead of a brand new year.
"It’s been quite a year for Collaboration Station! We held nine events on zoom, which held space for 23 new ideas or existing community groups to come together and develop ideas and connections. We experimented with wild zoom icebreakers, playlists and introduced some wonderful new people to the event.
Here are some of the ways people used breakout spaces in 2021:
The Coventry Sci-Fi Club: a room led by local disability activist Tom, who built a team now running regular online gatherings under the new name ‘B6 Geek Rooms’.
African culture and becoming fearless: a room led by social enterprise manager Luc, who met a wonderful ally in Emmanuel. They returned to Collaboration Station two months later presenting a collaboration between their two enterprises.
Cloudspotting: a room led by artist Raquel who was preparing to exhibit in the Herbert Gallery. A ‘Walk, Talk and Rest’ event was co-created with Coventry Youth Activists and the wider community to bring awareness to the stigma around resting in public spaces.
Parenting: a room led by Alicia who was concerned about the isolation that new parents can face, particularly during lockdown. She didn’t have the answers but invited other parents to join her for a conversation around the barriers and see whether they could take action on some solutions.
Made For Me campaign: a room led by Warwickshire Empowerment Service sharing their campaign around accessible spaces and discussing ideas to feed into a follow on event.
Inclusive Walking Group: a room led by Changemaker University graduate Teresa, who used her new found confidence to create a walking group that welcomes everyone. Teresa was clear about what roles would be needed to get started and on board.
Action Rayz: a room led by local artist and activist Jazz, part of an existing film discussion group for social action documentaries looking to develop. They have recently been hosting events in person in conjunction with CineCov and Coventry Cathedral.
Stoke Aldermoor Action Partnership led a room for several months to share their work, co-create new ideas and develop new connections.
The Collaboration Station (CS) team has been in a bit of a flux over the year, with people getting busy and needing to focus their energies elsewhere, new people joining then leaving and uncertainty around roles and the purpose of CS. It hasn’t been easy but our core team members have learnt a lot.
Before sharing our public call out to grow the team we clarified values, roles and responsibilities and commitment needed. We will keep you updated on how it goes as we look forward to 2022!
When lockdown ended we stayed online to keep people safe and energy around hosting breakout rooms waned.
The world was opening up again and people were focusing their energy on getting back to some sense of normality, rather than diving into developing new things.
Open to adapting, we looked inwards and explored ideas for new spaces around making and learning at CS. These explorations brought us to the conclusion that our core vision of bringing together people passionate about making change in Coventry and holding space for that change to grow should continue to be the focus of the event.
We realised that we don’t need to introduce new spaces, we just need to spread the word and invite more people to take up the opportunity of the space we already hold.
We have a plan on how to do that and if you are reading this, you are part of it! Let people in Coventry know about Collaboration Station.
Let them know that they are welcome to come along, contribute and get inspired by all the change people want to make.
Let them know that they can host a space around their own idea or community group. Share this blog post, share our facebook page.
Let’s make Collaboration Station the go-to place for people who want to make people led collaborative change in Coventry!
Bring it on 2022 - we are ready for you.