Pop-ups, truths and language

16 May

I spent the whole of last week as one of the POPse! collaborative, helping create and run the world’s first pop-up social enterprise think-tank. It seems to these biased eyes to have been a great success: providing some fresh thinking (formal reports forthcoming), building new networks, and helping regenerate the local community (via the physical space) and the social enterprise community (via the posts, reports and events) a little.

[you can find a short video of me and another collaborator Henry Hemming talking a bit more about POPse! on the video page (scroll down)] 

It was also, crucially, great fun. And although I’m knee-deep in finalising a report about social impact measurement, and how we can move that whole space on, I confess to having enjoyed helping create the social enterprise playlist and  the 100 social enterprise truths a great deal. I think the latter has been tweeted and re-tweeted more than anything I’ve ever written or been involved in. Most people seem to be finding something of amusement / irritation / resonance (or all three), and it’s great that it’s being so widely read.

It makes me think about whether the reason something like that gets read more is because you approach it with a sense of fun and openness rather than approaching it as ‘work’ with ‘seriousness’. In that context, this recent Peter Day podcast about language and business is well worth a listen; a reminder to all in communications not to let words, jargon, language and our mindset get in the way of the job in hand (or to dull all creativity).

POPse! certainly did the opposite, allowing creativity and fun to give life to the work; and was one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling weeks for me in a long time as a result. Now we hope that the various policy reports and recommendations that have been produced also have an impact on the audiences they are intended for.

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