Dadamac Connect connects people, organisations and ideas. It was co-founded by Nicola (Nikki) Fishman and me (Pamela McLean) on September 1st 2014. It has the same DNA as our earlier Dadamac work (visible in part through www.dadamac.net) but Dadamac Connect is more clearly defined. It connects many initiatives Nichola and I have been involved in previously, together and separately. Some are visible at www.dadamac.net some happened elsewhere.
I've always described Dadamac.net as a work-space rather than a website, because it reflects something that is too emergent, experimental and "shape shifting" to be a captured in a tidy website. That's why we are separating things out more tidily for 2015.
At time of writing it's just over two months since we set up Dadamac Connect, so what I'm writing is a mixture of vision and reality.
How does Dadamac Connect work?
This is how we see Dadamac Connect working. Some of this is already in place. Some of it is in progress, or currently happening outside of Dadamac Connect, so I'm writing those bits in italics.
We share information freely.
- Information is about the interconnected interests and ideas that are continually emerging through Dadamac.net and our other connections.
- We'll set up a new website (separate from Dadamac.net, but referring back to it, so newcomers can see that we have a considerable history).
- We'll use a mix of other things, such as twitter and some kind of mailing list.
We collect contact details from people so we can send information out to them.
- The people are a mixture of new contacts and existing ones.
- We're always making new contacts, so they'll be invited.
- Over the coming months we'll also let our existing contacts know about Dadamac Connect.
We offer membership (with a low cost entry point).
Benefits include special attention to members' interests when we share information
- Discussing issues of concern.
- Creative ideas and problem solving.
- Raising the visibility of members and their initiatives.
- Providing opportunities to learn with each other and from each other.
- Special offers for events, services etc.
- Benefits of belonging with others who have overlapping interests and face similar challenges.
- We haven't started recruiting seriously, but I'm pleased to have attracted three paid-up members (the only three I've ever invited) as the result of separate conversations where I've mentioned plans for Dadamac Connect.
We offer high value individual services
- These give an analysis of individual situations related to Dadamac Connect and what we offer.
- Then we can help in practical ways.
Dadamac Connect Buttons
Watch out for Dadamac Connect buttons. They look like our logo. Members get them for free. Some non-members (who have a story to tell about connecting to us) may also get a chance to own one.
- Keep the button in your purse or pocket ready for use.
- Pop it on whenever it would be useful to discover others who connects with Dadamac Connect.
- Use it as a conversation starter if you need one at networking events.
Launching Dadamac Connect
There are two events launching Dadamac Connect.
Week starting December 8th
One launch event happens in the week starting December 8th, which is Pitch Week for the Start-up Tribe at the Escape School. I joined the Start-up Tribe around the time Nicola registered Dadamac Connect as a company. I have to stand up at Escape school for three minutes on Wednesday evening to pitch Dadamac Connect's plans and progress. My fellow tribe members will be there and other guests. Once I've stood up in public and explained what Dadamac Connect is I'll feel it has really started.
Pre-lauch things are starting to happen. The three, paid-up, founder members are helping to make it feel real, plus the arrival of the buttons yesterday. Caro Hart (Twitter @@Caro_FHC ) and I pinned ours on in celebratory mood when we met at Marylebone station today. (Hmm - maybe I should officially be a member too.) I've also had an unrelated request for inclusion on my mailing list by someone who assumed that I already have one.
Saturday January 10th
The other event that may be seen as a launch is something Nicola and I are arranging on January 10th at Hub Westminster - "Africa-UK Connections in Practice - New Approaches for 2015" The event, like Dadamac Connect itself, has emerged from work and ideas that can be traced through www.dadamac.net
It's become increasingly obvious that the work we have done connecting UK (and beyond) with Fantsuam Foundation, through John Dada needs to be pulled out and given a clearer identity, so that it can be extended. The new Dadamac Foundation website is a step in that direction.
The event on January 10th is to raise the visibility of Dadamac Foundation, with its new, clearer, separate identity, and its plans to offer an alternative model of International Development.
On January 10th:
- Dadamac Foundation (which I support in a volutary role) will be represented by me.
- Fantsuam Foundation will be represented by its director John Dada.
- Professor Tim Unwin has accepted our invitation to attend and give a keynote address. He probably has no idea how much his informal encouragement of Dadamac over the years has been helped us to feel connected wtih the formal ICT4D world.
- Westminster Hub is kindly donating the venue for us. Their support has helped us in so many ways.
- The event will also come under the umbrella of GlobalNet21, another organisation which is a huge source of strength and support for us. Most recently it enabled us to celebrate Dadadmac Day 2014 by running a GlobalNet21 webinar.
- Online there will a forum for "Africa-UK Connections in Practice - New Approaches for 2015" (before and after the event) at Kabissa - Space for Change
- Several people from the RSA UK-Africa network (which I was recently encouraged to start in the RSA London Region) will be attending, so it is also a launch event for that network.
- It will also be the first event Nicola and I have worked on together since launching Dadamac Connect, and in a way is a showcase of the coneectedness on which Dadamac Connect is built.
We've only recently started to share the Eventbrite link to the event, yet the mix of people and organisations already listed to attend promise to make it a stimulating start to the year.
The Jaunary 10th event as inspiration for Dadamac Connect
In many ways our preparation for this event on behalf of Dadamac Foundation was the inspriation for Dadamac Connect. It made us realise how our connections have grown. We also saw how much we want to help connections to happen that "spill out" beyond the confines of Dadamac Foundation (which is a registerd charity) even if that charity grows dramatically (as we intend to help it to do). As we wrestled with the problem of all we want to achieve in 2015 and beyond, we realised that the missing link was something that would be the connecting point for all of it and so Dadamac Connect was born.