The team has been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and sheer number of people who say they want to get involved in Common Weal locally. There are various ways to do this, and we want to provide support. Here's a guide to setting up your local Common Weal Group:
1. Set-up your local facebook group/page: In Inverness, North Ayrshire, Angus and more Common Weal volunteers have already set up their local facebook group/page, which can be the starting point for getting your group organised. Before starting a new page, check to see if there is a group for your local authority or town. If you set one up, get in touch by emailing email@example.com and we'll provide support to properly get the group established.
2. Want to talk first? If you want to speak to the team first before setting up your local group, or if you want to find out what other Common Weal volunteers are in your area, the best thing to do is to contact us directly, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or sign up to Common Space, where you can keep up to date with other volunteers.
3. Establishing your group - organise a meet-up: The team plans to go to every local area and speak to local Common Weal groups. But we would encourage you to get started by setting up an initial meet-up of people in your area. It's good to find out who's keen on Common Weal, how they think they can apply Common Weal to their local circumstances, and what ideas they have to properly launch Common Weal in your area.
4. Launching your group - a Common Weal public event: We're keen to hold Common Weal events in every local area in Scotland regularly with at least one person from the team attending. We want to explain how we work as an organisation, and we want to get your input into that process too. Once your group's established, think about whether you would like a CW team member to visit your group, and let us know by emailing email@example.com.
5. What does a Common Weal local group do? Once you've launched, what is the function of a Common Weal local group? First off, the Common Weal local group is YOUR group. All groups should stay within the principles of Common Weal, but it is run by you, organised by you, plans are concocted by you, decisions are made by you. We have the confidence that you will know best how to apply the ideas of Common Weal to your political, social and economic context. We already have examples of what local Common Weal activists can do: one group has, for example, set-up a reading group where they read one chapter of the Common Weal book and then discuss it together. In the upcoming weeks we'll provide more information, ideas and support on how to 'do' Common Weal in your local area.
6. What's the relationship between the local group and The Commons venues? We will update everyone on developments with The Common in Glasgow, but some people have already asked about how they relate to the local Common Weal groups. The key word here is flexibility. In some areas where Commons are launched they will be tightly interconnected to the local Common Weal groups, for example in Edinburgh North and Leith, and we would always encourage Common Weal groups to meet in The Common if one does exist. In other areas setting up a Common will not be an option and that is fine – whatever set-up is applicable to your local circumstance. If you are interested in setting up a Common venue or if you know of hubs that would be interested in converting to Common hubs then get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Common Weal is an idea that belongs to everyone, and not all local groups will have the same goals or activities. It is for your local community to decide on how Common Weal works for you, and for the team at Common Weal to help and support you in your work.