England & Wales

Social Media, Community & The Local Authority


Join us at our seminar on 23 September where we look at how social networks and the new media can help engage communities, connect people with others and resources and help develop community resilience..

Local authorities and other agencies have begun to understand the importance of building social capital in local communities and the role that social media can play in this by creating networks where connections can be made.

Elected members and officers have an important role in helping communities collaborate so they learn from each other and develop partnerships with other agencies to enable community building at a local level. This workshop will look at how we can build social capital through social media, the building blocks that need to be established across agencies and it will examine some of the tools for community building in a digital age.

Those attending this workshop will gain:

  • an overview of the possibilities that social media offers.
  • some case studies of social media in action
  • how agencies can use social media to share resources and treat communities holistically
  • how elected members can use social media to connect with their own communities
  • discussion around some innovative projects to hold digital surgeries and connect different communities
  • how social networks involving communities and different agencies require a network management structure and
  • the importance of social networking as a learning environment.


The morning will present an overview of the role of social media with some case studies of how an online presence must be embedded into a community infrastructure to be successful.

The afternoon will look at some of the tools of social media, the importance of connecting social media to decision making processes and the different ways that communities can connect and elected members engage with their local  citizens and communities.

09.30 Coffee and Registration

10.00 introductions to Day and Social Media In Action Francis Sealey GlobalNet21)

10.30 Case Study 1 Creating Community – Streetlife

10.50 Case Study 2 Community Conversations & Digital Stories

11.20 Questions and Discussion.

11.35 Using Social Media To influence Decision Making and link councillors with community (Francis Sealey and Steve Milton Interview)

12.00 Lunch

12.45 Embedded Social Media (David Wilcox)

1.05 – 3.45 This will be an interactive session. David Wilcox and Drew Mackie will explain how they are using workshop games that blend social media and other methods, and then invite us to join in a simulation. One project  is to plan mapping of local assets and development of social networks to combat loneliness and social isolation. The other is to develop a digital participation strategy for a council facing substantial budgets cuts.

3.45 Feedback

4.00 Closure


Francis Sealey, Founder of GlobalNet21; formerly a producer at the BBC for the Open University. Francis has extensive experience of engaging with local communities and the use of social media. David Wilcox Emily Miller Steve Milton Ian Simpson Claire Elsden -Street Life
Who should attend?
This workshop will be important for both elected members and officers who work at community level as well as those who develop strategy and build partnerships. It will also be valuable to those who work in partnership with local authorities and communities and wish to explore how social media can enhance joined up delivery at community level. It will be particularly useful for those who are looking at new ways to engage communities and to widen participation in discussion and community building.