First of all, we had no idea that there would be so many people at the Launch, so thank you all for coming, or thank you for your support if you couldn’t be there. I think everyone would agree that there was a very special energy in the room carpark – an openness, curiosity and excitement, and better yet, a sense that the BFU project is simply giving space to a momentum that was already bubbling out there. It was wonderful to be part of such a dynamic discussion and we were humbled by the depth and enthusiasm that came through in everyone’s ideas.
We thought we’d give a quick recap of the general discussion and an overview of how the BFU project might take shape from here. We did take an audio recording of the night and we’ll have it available online as soon as we can. In the meantime, bear in mind that this isn’t a full and comprehensive list of every comment made, so please either excuse us for having left anything out, or else add it in! You’re welcome to post comments on this page or our facebook, or to email us.
- Getting the word out. A few people asked how best to publicise BFU – this part is up to all of us! Grassroots projects rely on the grapevine as much as anything else, so go nuts in spreading the word. Furthermore, feel free to contact a potential speaker or venue on behalf of BFU, just be sure to keep us in the loop via email at some point. You can also make speaker/venue suggestions directly to the BFU email account and someone may well be able to follow it up for you (although please be patient!). The more people get on board with this part of the project, the more interesting and collaborative it will be, so don’t hold back!
- Topics. People had a lot of great suggestions about the broad range of things they’d like to learn. Some people are keen to engage with the theoretical, like philosophy or comparative religion. Others are more inclined towards the practical, like software design, furniture making, music and dance. While we’d love to be able to offer something to respond to each interest group, we also have to think practically in terms of our resources – we’re working with very little in these early stages, and simple events will be easier to get off the ground; that is, events that don’t require any equipment other than what we can find under houses, or venues that don’t need much negotiation. Again, if you have an idea for a workshop, please get in touch and we can try to make it happen together, but otherwise we’ll just keep going within the bounds of our capabilities.
- Networks and organisation. If something is outside the scope of the BFU project, or if there’s a different event that BFU folks might be interested in, the network is open! Feel free to post it on our facebook page and we can also link to it on the BFU website. One of the great things to come out of the launch night was a sense of community and conversations – let’s keep this open as broadly as we can.
- Participation. A lot of people were keen to be involved, which is great. There will be much to do! The different roles and jobs that need doing will becoming more apparent as the project unfolds, but for now, if you’re keen to help out, please email BFU or post on our facebook and we’ll be in touch.
- The Wheres. In terms of venues, BFU has ‘no fixed address’, which means that we’re open to trialling a few different places. People suggested other venues like The Edge and Turnstyle, which we’ll try to test out at some stage. Different sorts of events will be better suited to different spaces, so we’ll keep it flexible. We’re always open to suggestions and feedback on this one.
- The Whens. This is one we’ll have to play by ear – because people are volunteering their time to organise and to speak, we need to remain flexible in terms of the dates and frequency of events. The best way to know what is happening is to check our facebook page or website. We’ll hopefully get a mailing list up and running in the near future.
- Open Forum. Someone suggested opening the BFU site to everyone’s input in order to decentralise the the project. We’re very open to collaborating as much as we can for BFU, however a core aspect of the project is to get these sorts of collaborations and discussions off the internet and into physical spaces. The best way to combine these things, we reckon, is to have regular planning meetings open to anyone. Obviously, not everyone will always be able to make it, and for this reason, our facebook page is open as an online forum and you’re always welcome to make suggestions or give feedback via email. However, we think it’s really important to keep away from screen time as much as possible.
- Moving forward. Towards the end of the discussion, someone commented that the best way forward from here is probably to just start running sessions and have a discussion a little ways down the track. Agreed! And as such, may we announce…
- BFU’s first session, which is to be held on Tuesday the 18th of December. We’ll keep you posted with more details as soon as they are finalised.
There’s a lot to figure out as we go, and BFU is about open discussion, so don’t be shy with your ideas. We’re excited to watch something pretty wonderful start to grow in our own backyard, so to speak. Welcome, once again, to BFU