January 23, 2021


At the start of 2020, long before we were engulfed by a pandemic, I started visiting some of the more interesting organisations and businesses in Liverpool. I'd give them a copy of the latest Hannah Directory, have a chat, and post a photo of the visit to Twitter, Mastodon and Instagram.

This blog post is to provide an explanation of why I started doing that.

The seed of the idea was planted a year or two earlier, when I was reading through Impact Hub Birmingham's plans for their next incarnation. In particular, this diagram (click through for the full-size version):

As I read through the list thinking how exciting it sounded, I was also bringing to mind Liverpool organisations that offered parts of it: community events space? that's like DoES Liverpool; community kitchen, not unlike Squash; makerspace? DoES Liverpool again or Little Sandbox; cycle hub? Peleton...

Liverpool already has pretty much all of this, plus extras in related ideas—they're just spread out and not considered as much as a thing.

Personally, I think ours is a better approach. It provides more diversity: of people involved; of ideas; of approach—we've got CICs, CLTs, co-operatives... That brings more resilience too—the failure of one idea or model doesn't bring down the whole network.

But there are also downsides. It's not as obvious that there is a network of organisations. There's less crossover between them as you don't get to encounter all of the ideas when you encounter one of them in isolation. And although most of us know each other, we don't get to catch up and bounce ideas around as often as we would if we were all in the same location.

The idea of a loose-knit network of people doing epic shit reminded me of the Hannah Directory, and of organiser Andrew Wilson's annual pilgrimage around the North delivering the directories for distribution. We have a stack of the latest edition available at DoES Liverpool for distribution, so it makes a lovely social object for me to take as a reason for getting in touch with everyone to meet up for a coffee and a chat.

Naturally the pandemic has made meeting up with people difficult, and so the delivery project has been on hold for a while. However, it has also shown that we're sorely in need of the ideas and, more importantly, activity from these groups. So I'm sharing this as a work-in-progress in the hope of sparking more conversations around it even during the lockdowns.

I'll add more links below when I get back to delivering directories. I'd also like to hear ideas for ways that we can build lightweight, low-effort ways for people to navigate the network, and for those of us in the network to catch up more often. In my experience we need some sort of reason for things to happen, otherwise the day-to-day always gets in the way.

Who Are the #LiverpoolHannahLinks?

  • DoES Liverpool. "Tinkering, making, electronics, Arduino... Organises #makernight. Runs a co-working and makerspace in the heart of Liverpool."
  • Homegrown Collective. "Bringing the brewing back home. Resident led collective: growing, recycling & brewing from a Victorian terrace within the heart of Anfield & Everton."
  • Peloton Liverpool Cooperative. "We believe Liverpool will be better with more of its residents and visitors cycling", and its sister organisation Agile Liverpool delivering goods by electric cargo bike.
  • Greens for Good. "Greens for Good by Farm Urban. Food that's good for people grown in ways that are good for the planet."
  • Little Sandbox "the place for kids who love, making, computer science and design technology" and Sandbox Workshop, "A community workshop on Townsend Avenue, behind Norris Green Library."
  • Damien John Kelly House "Abstinence Based Recovery Living Centre for Adult Males. Belonging, Connection and Purpose through Arts, Sport and Culture."
Posted by Adrian at January 23, 2021 03:19 PM | TrackBack

This blog post is on the personal blog of Adrian McEwen. If you want to explore the site a bit further, it might be worth having a look at the most recent entries or look through the archives or categories over on the left.

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