So what has Bruce been up to recently?

Part of an occasional series of posts to try to show that I don’t lie around all day! This post covers the time since we got back from honeymoon in early September.  

At Napier

  • Working with my colleague Wegene Demeke on the initiation of a project to investigate some aspects of participatory budgeting (PB) in São Paulo [Wikipedia], Brazil. We’re particularly interested in whether and how PB benefits the very poor. This is going to be fun, not least because neither Wegene nor I speak Portuguese, but we have some excellent partners at the University of São Paulo.
  • Working with the Prof on a funding bid for some networking events. That’s ‘networking’ in the sense of connecting humans, not ‘plumbing‘! The bid has been submitted but we won’t know whether we’ve been successful for a while, so watch this space!
  • Taking part in a follow-up to research by the Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) on community councils.
  • Marking courseworks for an undergraduate course.
  • Drafting an idea for some public engagement/democracy work. Again, watch this space!

Elsewhere

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Food for thought

I enjoy the weekly briefing from the Scottish Community Alliance – 6 interesting and challenging articles about how we can make our society work better, leavened with the occasional salutary tale, and always a lot of potential learning. This week’s briefing is no exception. Here’s some highlights:

 

Enjoy!

Splitting the difference

Until now, I’ve had one Twitter handle for both my research and my personal tweets, namely @myceliumme_CC. This handle was also used to auto-tweet both from this blog and my personal blog. It’s now time to split these streams:

  • If you’re interested in my research, please note that @myceliumme_CC is about to become @Bruce_research.
  • If you’re interested in what I do away from work, please follow the brand-new @BruceRyan_rants.

There’s nothing to stop you following both!

Personal life interrupts this blog

A brief interlude from my non-work life. I guess that we might encounter some local government manifestations on our travels.

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Elly and I have been spinning at the wonderful LifesCycle for four years to help keep ourselves fit enough to enjoy exploring the world on bikes.  We are going off on our adventures later this year, but we know we are incredibly lucky to have the time and the security to do that. LifesCycle has been a strong supporter of Mercy Corps and we would like to add a little bit to their support of people suffering around the world, particularly refugees. If you have two minutes, this video will give you a little bit of insight into the people Mercy Corps supports. Continue reading

Fairer Scotland event for CCs: questions answered

The Scottish Government has responded to questions raised by CC members at a fairly recent Fairer Scotland event. Click the thumbnail to download the full PDF.

Fairer Scotland - Community Council Event - Q & A Report - Final

If you have any queries about the responses, it would be best to contact Kristoffer Boesen or Lynn Sharp of the Improvement Service (IS). In the meantime, I’m very pleased to see mentions of the work by Peter Cruickshank and me, specifically

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The first shall be last, and the last shall be first?

My better half pointed out recently that I described the Scottish Government as the top/first level, and Community Councils as the bottom/third level. This is interesting for two reasons:

  • it omits the UK government entirely
  • I automatically relegate hyperlocal democracy to third place.

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