For me by far the key decision many Scots will take this week is not about sticking a cross in a box for Yes or No. Instead the vote comes across as presenting each voter with a personal watershed. One where each of us takes a decision to either commit to constructive civic activism or to lapse back towards the sidelines of the politics of confrontation.
Yes as a whole has been unique in my memory in offering an overwhelmingly positive, at times almost carnival, activism. Stalls, canvassing, the more moderate forums, vehicle tours, concerts, rallies and meetings have all played a role. Alongside that the banners on the mountainsides, the rock climbs, the baking, the visits to the pub after canvassing, the artwork and the performances, have added buzz and engagement to the more traditional, but generally light, politics.
Thanks – Niena Studio
This combination of issues, participation and fun could develop and become even more effective without threatening anyone. But that maybe means going into the actual vote with the understanding that the real work starts now.
If it’s a Yes then Scots will likely require the patience of saints, while rapidly working out how to discard any notion of ‘the English’ as in anything other than much the same difficulties as ourselves.
If it’s a No, then Yes will be judged by its reaction, which could be full of recriminations or opt for genuinely forward thinking – anger or activism.
For myself, Friday brings a pile of has to be done fast work. Afterwards I continue with civic activism, but on my own terms, which are less direct than some.
Overall, by far the majority of my time on Scotland has been spent on history and writing, which kind of need more attention – but through artwork and accessible content rather than research or text.
Hopefully, whatever the result Yes and, possibly, No will rise to the occasion.
If civic activism is the route – forums may wish to look at how to shape discussion towards issues and debates. Regular threads of varying frequency are about the easiest way to encourage discussion without shaping everything too much.
Of the day/ week/ month/ year:
Poster/ Book/ Video/ Image/ Infographic
International Site/ Book
Current Issue/ Future Issue/ Green Issue/ International Issue
On This Day/ Anniversary
Innovation – Solutions
Enterprise – Employability
Clearly, not all, all of the time.
This is from activism in a different context from a while back now. It seems relevant:
. . . with few resources we had to invent our own solutions – often from next to nothing.
- The most helpful ideas can result from having to think more creatively, because there are almost no funds or very limited resources.
- Check you’re not re-inventing the whole wheel.
- Plan and plan some more.
- Habits die hard, so it is often easier to look for solutions that improve on or build on existing solutions.
- Look for a range of uses and markets for your innovations.
- Get the most out of what you have before you start to bring in new technologies and overheads.
- Get close to or inside the problem so you know how things work on the ground.
- Consider knock on effects where one innovation may lead to more innovations.
- The easier it is to use, the more it will get used.
- Inexpensive innovations can reach wider audiences.
- Aim for wide audiences and think beyond limits.