Thursday, 5 March 2015

Link4Growth... how can you participate?

We hear about a lot of things that are wrong in the world, on a global scale, on a national scale and even locally too. Countries fighting each other, corrupt governments, education, health, jobs, immigration, taxes and all manner of complex issues and on a local scale, issues around housing, local projects, local business, charity, buses, and many other local things which have a direct effect on our daily lives.

We also hear quite a bit (if we're plugged in) about a lot of people doing good things too... The Green Party, Zeitgeist, Occupy and organisations such as 38, GlobalNet, Avaaz all of whom are raising awareness of the inequality we have today, injustices and highlighting things to the masses which are plainly not in the majority's best interest... There are great initiatives that are happening under our noses across the UK too... Some examples Enterprise Rockers, BITC Connectors, 'The Thrive Programme', Transition towns, Time banking, Food-coops, Local Charities and Community Interest Companies (CIC's)... And there are thousands of other local initiatives all seeking to improve things going on all around us.

These groups above are all doing amazing work... And what they all want and need is our support... and more people to join them... but like every other organisation out there whether it be in the commercial or voluntary sector, they need...

  • to get their message out there and spread the good news about what they are doing
  • to have the infrastructure in place to underpin and enable their expansion

How can they reach out and spread the word, how can we expedite these fantastic initiatives and accelerate the rate of change?

Link4Growth has been created to do just this. Link4Growth is a platform that acts like an umbrella enabling all the different facets of community to come together with no hidden or alternative agenda. Link4Growth is recreating the third community space once again. The first two communities are our families and our workplaces, the third is where we can come together as members of the same physical community and have conversations with those around us. Any age, any background, any creed or colour, in business or not, everyone is welcome. Link4Growth provides space to meet, talk, listen, learn, connect, share and inspire.  It's about bringing everyone together in a cohesive way so that we can achieve much more... A structured platform for...

  1. Unity, bringing people together who are doing great things
  2. Sharing ideas, experience and knowledge
  3. Replicating best practice
  4. Collaboration in creating the future we would like to see
  5. Nurturing & Supporting each other
  6. Inspiration, creativity and problem solving
  7. Meeting like minded folk who care and want to help others to be happy & achieve

Link4Growth is truly open, random and supportive; No barriers to participation,  open to all and here to serve the people and through recognising that we are all connected and interdependent with those around us. It is delivering through physical events at different times of the day so that it is inclusive and enables everyone to attend at least something. We use local independent businesses (e.g. Coffee shops, pubs, hotels) as far as possible for meeting up, walking the talk of #L4GBuyLocal. Recognising that the success of our local businesses and buying local is critical for rebuilding our communities and operating in a more harmonious sustainable manner.

Link4Growth offers a 'plug and play' infrastructure that those doing great work in our communities can now tap into at no cost. This is delivered in two ways; first, through a (soon to be nationwide) network of community building events delivered by District Leaders and their teams at the village, town and city level. Second; but equally important is the other 50% which is online that works in unison with the physical; Link4Growth has architected an online infrastructure (utilising existing free social media platforms) that mirrors how we are organised spatially on the ground. This is now bringing new levels of engagement, connectivity and collaboration than has ever possible before.

So how could you or your organisation tap into Link4Growth and why?

1. We want to give back

Most people would love to make a contribution to their community. One of the main issues is that we don't have the infrastructure to enable those that want to contribute to be able to do so, in the way that they want to. Volunteering is actually believe it or not quite difficult to do with limited opportunities or variety, and stacks of bureaucracy getting in the way. Link4Growth enables us to talk, find out what tasks, services or products are required by those in need, so that we can connect the right resources and take action. Every skill we have there is a home for somewhere and Link4Growth enables us all to make a contribution providing a service (or product) that we are happy to give.

2. Remove the cloak of invisibility for your charity

Many charities are started on a shoestring with a tiny budget and possibly on the back of a grant to get things going. Many are started by people who want to do good work in the community but have never run anything like it before and don't know what to do. Link4Growth can help raise the profile of local charities, increase the number of local connections and reduce the reliance on handouts. Link4Growth is a joined up community network (not just for businesses, but everyone in the community) that for the first time allows charities to get out and meet local people and businesses for no real cost... Linked to a national network too means that charities can share expertise, knowledge, 'what works what doesn't', and increase their reach with little to no financial investment.

3. Raise the profile of your local businesses

Just how do you get the good news about your products and services out to local people? Ask any small business and they will tell you it's tough. It used to be quite simple... It did cost money, but advertise in the local paper, drop leaflets or pay for local advertisements on bill boards or other street furniture. But times are changing, nowadays there is networking and all the online social media paraphernalia that we are told we must do. Life just got a whole load more complex!

Help is at hand though. Link4Growth enables you to network locally and raise your profile for very little cost , plus we have workshops and training programmes to get you up to speed both with online technology but with a vast array of other educational programmes as well. Link4Growth also runs a local TV platform where we can share your promotional videos or even help you get one done... We also provide a  local business directory where YOU can post specials offers, promotions, stories, events you might be running, and much much more, all for free.

With as many local businesses as possible joining forces we can create a real movement towards #L4GBuyLocal. By making people aware of local traders, entrepreneurs and businesses and by inviting people to consider buying from local people in the community first, we can start to vote with our feet and get the ball rolling for change.

4. Share great ideas, experiences and replicate best practice, fast

Buried inside our communities are some people with great ideas. As mentioned already there are thousands of great initiatives being started all the time. Many of these ideas could be replicated and duplicated across the country. We are moving towards a much more collaborative and supportive environment so let's get sharing and make things happen.

Some of these ideas might not even happen but by having conversations, fine tuning concepts, and working together many more good things could be started involving thousands more people.

5. Expand great ideas nationally

There are many examples of successful localised projects which are equally relevant right across the country. The historical challenge has been how can people find out about these projects? Link4Growth solves this challenge, by enabling us to easily connect with others around the country in an atmosphere of support and nurturing.

Expanding any idea nationally often requires travel, holding events and a fair amount of investment. Link4Growth acts like a plug 'n' play platform. Share your idea / project on the national Link4Growth community forum and instantly get access to people and their connections all around the UK. Couple this with our workshops and training on how to use technology to share information and experience across spatial distances we can achieve much more faster than ever before.

6. Enable existing organisations to deploy infrastructure at no cost

There are many organisations that have already created a tribe of people that have signed up to an idea, initiative or concept. The challenge is taking the next step. Enabling people to communicate easily in a structured, organised way that is both effective and low cost and which leads to massive action. This requires systems and infrastructure. Link4Growth has developed a lean model that organisations can plug into and use as a catalyst to accelerate their activities.

7. Learning and Education to share our collective knowledge

As a nation we pretty much have all the knowledge we need, the problem is that it is locked inside our heads and is not able to reach those that need it. Not any more. Through providing a platform for rich engagement and conversation we are able to share what we know with others, nationally... More than that though...

We have created a secondary platform called Link4Skills that uses Internet video streaming technology (at no cost) to deliver webinars and workshops. Now, those that want to share their experience, knowledge and expertise can do this easily (with a little training) without the need for travel by either party. We call this 'the people's University'. Empowering us to pool our collective knowledge to help all of us grow!

In summary...

Link4Growth is enabling us to take responsibility and play our part in our communities. We now have the infrastructure and a methodology to rebuild community from the grass roots up. Link4Growth is encouraging the idea that we value each other not by what we have, but by our contribution. Link4Growth focuses us on what is really the most important... People and Relationships...

Link "4" Growth is about (1) personal growth, (2) community growth, (3) business growth and (4) national growth...

Change is already upon us... Now just a question of whether you would like to participate... Would you like to play your part?