Education and partnership working are at the core of everything we do. PlaceCal works by training and supporting organisations to publish their information, creating and supporting local resident-led partnerships to help people work together, and providing the PlaceCal platform to manage it all and respond to people’s needs.
This holistic approach to community technology creates a low social capital social network for real world interaction: a radically decentralised, transparent initiative managed directly by it’s citizens. This creates both spatial and digital inclusion: fairer and more inclusive neighbourhoods both on and offline.
Communities of place¶
Our primary intended audience for PlaceCal are communities of place. These are neighbourhood partnerships representing anything from a single tower block to a small town. These groups work because they have a ‘real world’ relationship of geographical proximity, typically up to around 6,000 people.
Neighbourhood partnerships form the interface between residents and health, housing and local authority providers who then have a coordinated way to work with people locally. What makes PlaceCal unique is that it combines knowledge in an area across many different siloed stakeholders and across geographic scales.
## Open source
The PlaceCal source code is free and open source: all our development is public and transparent. All our training materials and expertise are available under a Creative Commons license, allowing you to make your own versions for your needs. Our technical support enables communities to own and manage their own information.
Having all this information in one place means that it’s the perfect information source for social prescribers like doctors, nurses, library assistants, and social care workers to find good things to do for their patients.
The core goal of PlaceCal is to create well connected neighbourhoods that work better for older people, reduce social isolation, and increase active citizenship. Measuring the success of our interventions is not a simple task and has required an approach that can consider the entirety of the relationships and information in an area.
PlaceCal is not about teaching people to use the internet as it is, or teaching “digital skills”. It’s about redesigning the internet with a new model that appeals to humans from all backgrounds with a wide range of interests and needs.
Curated by humans¶
Each neighbourhood or interest group has it’s own Secretary, who is the human face of PlaceCal. Secretaries are the “curators” of PlaceCal, working with organisations to promote events in the area as a whole.
Based on existing capacity¶
PlaceCal works with your existing technology and staff time, helping you set something up if needed. This means that it hooks into your existing event management software, updating itself automatically when you’re set up.
Most people use Google Calendar, Outlook 365, or Facebook. We can also work with your custom CMS or event API.