Rebuilding Better

archive.org has an image of a website that I ran with young people long ago in Newham. Odd traces of the Newham Young People Online (NYPO) project remain on the Internet. The website grew out of a media club that had started in a youth club setting through conversations and working together to put magazines together, have discussions, organise trips, activities and so on. I met with the young people in real space and the website with its lists, bulletin boards and chatrooms was an adjunct to to that. Somehow a snatch of conversation on a chat application we used is preserved and gives a taste of our conversations:

20 Sep 07, 18:46gavin: hmm, just noticed … belated happy birthday to Jamal 🙂

18 Sep 07, 12:41gavin: expect a number of changes to the website this week – hopefully not too much will go wrong!

15 Sep 07, 16:18sulthana: http://members.nypo.org/DoE_Dover/album/for the dover pictures

14 Sep 07, 20:55sulthana: hey looks good the new look gavin 😃

24 Aug 07, 17:01gavin: meeting for NYPO/DoE participants on Thursday 30 August at Little Ilford. Please check http://www.nypo.org/directory/index.php?title=August_2007 for details.

31 Jul 07, 10:57gavin: I’m setting up webspace for summer school people at http://www.nypo.org/efm21/index.cgi, files can be saved there

31 Jul 07, 10:31veronia: gosh, nobody’s even looking at the discussion forum 0_o17

Jul 07, 17:30gavin: sorry my fault .. i was trying to protect the directory and broke something 😕

17 Jul 07, 16:03veronia: Erm how come it’s asking for a password when i click on the town show link that sulthana has put up??

16 Jul 07, 17:58sulthana: Town Show photos here: http://members.nypo.org/album

16 Jul 07, 17:58sulthana: DoE camping photos here: http://members.nypo.org/NYPO_DoE/album

5 Jul 07, 13:46gavin: new blog enteries at www.nypo.org/blog

11 Jun 07, 18:17nishant: www.nypo.org/blog

11 Jun 07, 18:17nishant: there is a new entry on the blog, ignore the second passage

17 May 07, 20:35gavin: well done to everyone involved in planning and presenting the SWAT Interactive event yesterday. I’ll write more tomorrow and see you on saturday. :biggrin:

12 May 07, 09:29gavin: NYPO developers please remember meeting today at 1.00pm. An emergency meeting on monday at 6.00pm also.

29 Apr 07, 19:09pratik: http://www.nypo.org/forum/index.php?topic=679<————networking group plan and questionnaire. please read and comment

27 Apr 07, 16:22NISHANT: please can you try to come up with anti-violence posters for the SWAT event on 16th may.

26 Apr 07, 10:34gavin: the NYPO calendar has been updated. Date of SWAT event changed to 16th May.

20 Apr 07, 16:05NISHANT: i ma be late on sat gavin as i have a cricket match

After I left the youth service in 2010 I continued to use the NYPO website that I had set up to support work I was doing as an independent provider with schools and community organisations and to showcase young people’s work but there was not a real community of young people to run it and it supported what I was doing instead of being and integral part of it.

Newham Young People Online worked when it did because young people were getting together to plan and create that online environment, they weren’t just users of it. I couldn’t and wouldn’t want to run something like that for young people outside the context of youth clubs where I was working with other youth workers and with young people helping to develop the project.

This was of course long before Zoom. My days of full time youth work are long over and I haven’t done any work with young people (or anyone else) since after school clubs closed last March but I’m thinking of a project for August 2021 that will involve working with groups in different parts of the world on a media project sharing experiences of living where they live and putting together a film or even an ongoing multimedia magazine.

A focus related to the effects of climate change and global justice would provide a worthwhile common core that young people could buy into. Developing a real understanding of the Internet, the way it works, its potential and actual benefits and dangers is a related aim.

My personal commitment is to community building and conversation not just for young people but for all of us and that will be the focus of the Netstorms website. ‘Netstorms: Young People Online’, the new NYPO project will be developed with young people across the globe.

I’m in contact with Bakary, a teacher in Gambia who is open to the idea, though their access to technology is very poor. I hope to make other contacts abroad as I develop the idea and to work with local community groups, schools and homeschooling groups.

Working as a group that involves young people themselves and responsible adults including teachers, youth workers and parents, we can build a community that is self monitoring and that establishes norms of responsible interaction.

The vision outlined above is both grand and simple. It is grand because it is global and it is simple because it is about young people making connections that enhance themselves and each other.

1. The Netstorms website will be repurposed to facilitate conversations and community building. It is offered as a hub for conversation and community building projects.

2. The NYPO website will be offered as a hub to support the work of a number of groups.

3. Young people will be invited and supported in learning:

a) to work together and communicate within local project groups.

b) to share thoughts and work online as individuals and as groups.

c) to learn the technologies that will help them become creators rather than only consumers in the digital space.

d) in additions to a deep understanding of technology and its potentials, young people will understand themselves and each other and be able to share that understanding. They will also develop and discuss their own understandings of interpersonal, political and planetary justice and be able to act together out of these understandings.

e) we will aim to come together to share and to formally begin collaboration in August but we will begin working together now with whoever is ready.

“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe.

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.

Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”

― Arundhati Roy, War Talk

I have two questions for young people and indeed all who might be interested in this project:

1. Who, what, where, when, why and how are you? Answer however you wish but thoughtfully.

2. What does your world look like and what would you prefer the new world that is on her way to look like?