A new community

Campfire Convention - Pete Lawrence is about to start the fire


The Campfire Community is opening its doors to our first beta testers this weekend. It's been a long, but fruitful journey so far and founder and firestarter Pete Lawrence is delighted to start to share the project that he has been working with as an idea for almost two years.

"We plan to use the next couple of months as efficiently as can to tweak our pages, start to input posts, ideas, projects and stories and generally have a play around to sell how it all feels. No doubt there will be bugs to fix and details to re-structure but we don't want to go early and we want them to really want to come back once they've seen the community beginning to form around them. Formative and exciting days and it feels right to be launching at this time of year by inviting a few people on one by one so we can really gauge feedback."

This is an excerpt from Pete's blog, taken from Campfire's interim site

"What are we aiming for? Obviously a thriving community, a vibrant website and exciting events, but our vision can extend a lot wider. We can play our part in social change, in helping create a fairer society and in empowering our own membership, both individually and collectively by providing an environment where ideas can lead to inspiration, debate can lead to determination, co-creativity can lead to collaboration and empowerment, which in turn can lead to recognition, confidence and financial rewards too. 

I have a few ideas to hopefully get the ball rolling, particularly relating to communities and specifically what we can achieve as a new community. The creative process for conceptualising can take various paths - it might well start with the absorbing and unravelling of a wealth of fast-flowing information, spotting trends, looking at what isn't working, reaching some form of consensus feeling amongst those around us. Then allowing time to mull over and meditate on the raw material - dreaming of how we might shape the future, in effect, before starting to create and shape ideas which are able to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing world. From there, seeking out new models that can map onto a morphing social and work infrastructure, using as the central tenet the time-honoured (though previously unfashionable) altruistic notion of 'the good of all'. 

Whilst there may be more scientific or logical ways of arriving at solutions, that lightbulb moment is equally likely to come from a few moments of utopian dreaming. We all know what we feel is most wrong with the world...what if our daydreams actively worked through to practical solutions which could then be applied to structures, policies, models of behaviour, interaction production, marketing, sharing or selling? 

Building 'castles in the air', constructing frameworks in the mind, scenarios with a range of potential routes and outcomes can start with a daydream, but usually then require a more ordered follow-through to test methodology, concepts, budgets and timeframes. Bridging the gap between lightbulb concepts and everyday reality can often evolve more efficiently with input from others - collaborators can bring insight and new perspectives, the hive mind can add a wealth of resource and direct experience. The hidden value of the community's collective genius - or 'scenius' as Eno describes it - is immeasurable and invaluable, both in terms of the power of collective application and in the advantages of a ready-made market-place for those ideas. Ultimately, gut instinct often plays the most important part in deciding whether or not to get started and remains, to this day, a valuable business and social  tool.

So the process of converting ideas into art, media or business initiative is often random but the potential of all these realisations is huge - and Britain, over time, has been well respected worldwide for its ideas, its humour, its music, its capacity to trailblazer new inspiration and fair-mindedness. 

How could this apply to Campfire? It's clear that we as a community can start to form our own model that works as we move into a post capitalist world. 

Naturally, we hope the Campfire project will be profitable reasonably soon after its launch and subsequently it's a question of what we elect to do with those profits and how that can feed back into the community and beyond (the global economy)."


The first Campfire Convention weekend event has been announced - August 12-14 in The Black Mountains of Herefordshire, 21 years on from the first outdoor Big Chill festival, just a few miles from the original site. The weekend will be as much about talks, debates, workshops, ideas and networking as it will about music. The setting is in fields adjoining The Bridge Inn in Michaelchurch Escley and entry requires a ticket. More info here

Our first Campfire Convention weekend event has been announced - August 12-14 in The Black Mountains of Herefordshire

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