Introductory information on Citizen action networks and The Alternative UK is on our Networks UK page.

This article focuses on a proposed development process to draft a CAN handbook and guide.

This is just one of a series of CAN related co-creation projects, options or interests.

The brief[edit | edit source]

handbook, update / version 2, Indra, Feb 4, 2021: (to) "identify the basics of a CAN to allow people to get started on their own without being overwhelmed with everyone else’s experiences -and yet still able to draw on them for inspiration.

I would say that a manual needs to be different from the Wiki - but have a relationship to it. The Flatpack Democracy manual worked precisely because of the way it evoked easiness to assemble."

handbook, version 1, Dec 2020: To "gather, clarify and expand on this (A/UK initiated) work and create something that clearly communicates what a CAN is, what its potential is etc."

Navigation[edit | edit source]

Each CAN handbook and guide wiki page has

  • a contents menu (shown or hidden) for that page - top left
  • a 'Whole document' navigation box to access all CAN handbook and guide pages - top right
  • an associated talk page which may contain editorial notes and associated discussion - top left, "Talk" link, above the page title
  • some pages also have a 'back to top' button just above notes and references

Both the handbook and guide link to the Glossary

Handbook: proposed development process[edit | edit source]

to follow

References[edit | edit source]

(general references, include somewhere?)

Examples of other handbooks[edit | edit source]

links or refs needed


Guide: proposed development process[edit | edit source]

Some questions which hopefully the guide might begin to answer:

  1. What would a knowledge commons for (and by?) CANs look like? and what relationship ?s might that pose?
  2. More broadly what would a Peoples’ policy for social infrastructure look like?
  3. a more specific example: for cosmolocal learning clubs within CANs, what might help or accelerate the development of these?
  4. what other resources might be better shared to help accelerate the development of CANs?
  5. what is going on that invites people into relationship?
  6. for a growing number of anyone interested, or active in CANs, how do we make it so that people can start with the basics of finding each other easily and as specifically as they want, and continue this over time? and perhaps related to that:
  7. How do we learn to fully and adequately recognise each others’ efforts as a step toward wider recognition?

Distributed[edit | edit source]

(handbook) "to be done in a distributed way - what is the offer to them?

Sample networks[edit | edit source]

What would be the questions for any sample gathering of networks?

  • What would make you join a CAN in your area? ...Feb 8, 2021 discussion report to follow
  • What is it that you need?
  • If it's mainly a co-ordination problem, what are the ways in to start tackling this?
  • via the ?s that they are already asking? see for example...[1]
  • how does a community (or wider movement of networks) move into relationships?
  • how are you doing your project to bring people together?

Examples of networks[edit | edit source]

proper names and links need to be included. suggested ref to develop this section: [2]

  • Cape Town Together, Contact your local CAN, airtable.com
  • Trust the people
  • Coalville CAN


  • Mutual aid networks
  • Fun palace movement
  • Be more pirate movement
  • Civic Square
  • Transition Network
  • Eco village (network?)

see also: Movements of networks by theme, an exploration or thought experiment. List of networks provided by Losing Control, docs.google.com/spreadsheets, Feb 18, 2021, (more to follow)

Complementary and collaborative working[edit | edit source]

with other CAN related co-creation projects
eg: A kit and game - see CAN-development on quip.com, David Wilcox, December 31 2020:

" ...work with some pilots

A/UK is already working with groups in Plymouth, Stoke and elsewhere. Deana Wildgoose and the crew in Coalville have a community-wealth based model, and set of methods, that could provide core components for CANs. Drew Mackie and I are working with a number of communities in London and elsewhere."
...Other CAN related co-creation projects

Unsorted drafts[edit | edit source]

temporarily included on : Talk:Citizens Action Network development

Guide: suggested ways of working[edit | edit source]

Design and style[edit | edit source]

  • Initially an online only guide, with a paper version only considered if there is an overwhelming case
  • Yes we CAN style throughout (?), emphasising the link to, and importance of Citizens Action Networks, CANs, and community and citizen action more generally
  • visual identity and style: lots of people, diversity,
  • inspiring quotes eg see Citizens doing it for themselves, Towards an economy of abundance
  • editorial comment in Italics, after initial stages likely to be moved to talk pages
  • Featured video to sections, supplemented by links to other playlists - potential for updating of co-curated playlists from successive featured video, and vice versa
  • challenging ourselves to develop something conversational, informal and local? see: Resourcing Citizens Action Networks 2, Ways of working

What needs more or clearer explanation?[edit | edit source]

  • Glossary an option to help with this
  • "high level" in this context?: "we know that solutions exist, we need high level human-centred integration of action based solutions with planetary impact"
  • "status" in this context? Is there something deeper and more meaningful than status? Researchers have found that one of our greatest sources of happiness is doing things for others with others (ref?), (wondering about just 'recognition' as an alternative?) What if the way we currently 'do' status is part of what keeps us apart? An observed phenomenon is Status Anxiety W. Alain de Botton challenges... "What about those who want to achieve but lack the opportunities to do so?" and interestingly his solutions include: Politics, Art, and Bohemianism.
Re Involvement on your own terms ...what if for some their terms of involvement include non-hierarchical ways of working? Are there ways in which 'status' might be compatible with non-hierarchical ways of working?
  • "one of the common themes is the importance of a combination of education (recognising and sharing learning?), deliberation and media services (style? shape the feel?) to be provided by CANs" not sure I'm understanding what's meant by this, Philralph (talk) 16:18, 23 December 2020 (UTC)

  • "a ‘larger us’ mindset"

Questions arising[edit | edit source]

suggested way of working: don't be afraid to ask any questions which might be useful, but also be prepared to let go any that aren't

  • beyond fractal growth and pattern matching?
  • moving from networks to resource networks?
  • what happens when we use the word 'influence', instead of the word 'power'? see also: Finding a new vocabulary
  • relationship of CANs to eg solidarity networks?

Possible other sections to the guide[edit | edit source]

In general terms this is about everyone who is, and has been sharing for a better future, including all the unsung, unrecognised and perhaps even unnoticed citizen and community activists, their groups, gatherings and networks.
  • some sort of end /concluding section reemphasising key messages: eg Yes we CAN!, we can do more than we think we CAN, We CAN be the answers to our own questions, etc?

Ways of developing content[edit | edit source]

One option is to go through two broad phases:

  1. a sort of ideas generating phase, during which include anything in the sections, or the handbook as a whole, which might be useful, then when the time feels right we switch to
  2. a more selective way of working to remove repetition, distil the content down to the essence, settle on an overall layout, etc. (so's we're communicating clearly)

Possible title of guide[edit | edit source]

suggested way of working: don't get too hung up on this, the right title will manifest itself at the right time

  • Guide to Citizens Action Networks and the wider world
  • Guide to CANs and the wider world
  • Yes we CAN!, subtitle: a guide to Citizens Action Networks and the wider world

Other CAN related co-creation projects[edit | edit source]

A diversity of 'entry points'. Diversity here seen as a strength? Different people respond better to different forms, for some its text, for some it's games, for some its visual, for some it's numbers, for some it's art, etc.

  • A kit and game - see CAN-development on quip.com, David Wilcox, December 31 2020
  • how maps, geographic, network, relationship, and asset mapping can help
  • citizen data initiatives eg linking in with info via CASwiki eg Citizens data initiative, Citizens data initiative, UK and via local pages
  • video, eg linking with online versions of handbook and guide: Featured video to sections, supplemented by links to other playlists - potential for updating of co-curated playlists from successive featured video, and vice versa
  • podcasts
  • how technology can help the development of Citizen Action Networks
  • networks working with platforms
  • generative conversations
  • Learning from any other resource creation, eg Talking with (software) developers
  • using some sort of alternative currency
  • setting up something like a co-op
  • art, music, etc
  • any other?

Back to top

Notes and References[edit | edit source]

- zoom 21 12 20 - earlier discussion - google doc of resources - other references

  • CAN-development on quip.com, David Wilcox, December 31 2020
  1. It’s time to talk about We, Oct 22, 2018 Transition Network, A response
  2. thealternative.org.uk
Page data
Authors Phil Green
Published 2020
License CC-BY-SA-4.0