The New Mechanics Institute promotes the reputation of people working creatively with technology in the city region of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield, organises peer-to-peer skill sharing and collaborates with other people and groups working in the same spirit inside and outside the city region.
The New Mechanics Institute has a flat structure and is governed by consensus among participants according to an agreed protocol (version 2 is below).
The New Mechanics Institute welcomes anyone who wants to take part, and celebrates difference and diversity, because difference leads to better decision making, more new ideas and a more adaptive organisation.
To participate in governing and running the organisation people have to meet a fair minimum commitment by coming to one full planning and programming meeting. After that they can take part in consensus decision making at any subsequent meeting they come to.
Decisions will be made at regular planning/programming meetings.
The minimum fair commitment to take part in decision making is coming to one full planning and programming meeting. People at their first meeting can observe and contribute to the discussion but not take part in making choices. After that they can take part in consensus decision making at any subsequent meeting they come to.
The city region of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield.
We like this public lecture on The Social Conditions for Innovation, dissonance for discovery which presents evidence that innovation happens in structures that can fold (shorten) cognitive distance between people and groups. The study is based on a network analysis of the teams who produced a large number of the video games ever released.
The programming and planning meetings take place regularly. They are open to anyone who wants to come along.
The following people have made the fair minimum commitment to participate in governing and running the organisation. They can take part in consensus decision making at any subsequent meeting they come to.
"The higher instruction given to workers was mainly concerned at first with science. As early as 1760 a professor at Glasgow, named Anderson, had begun to hold evening classes in science, which working men were encouraged to attend. In his will he left an endowment for a chair of natural philosophy at the University. Its first occupant was George Birkbeck (1776-1841), who held a degree in medicine. When he started his lectures in 1799 he found it necessary to have a good deal of apparatus, and while this was being made under his instructions he became acquainted with a number of Glasgow artisans. He found them so intelligent and so eager to learn that he resolved to start a course of lectures and experiments in mechanics 'solely for persons engaged in the practical exercise of the mechanical arts, men whose situation in early life has precluded the possibility of acquiring even the smallest portion of scientific knowledge.' The lectures proved a great success. After Birkbeck removed to London in 1804, the lectures were continued by the next occupant of the chair; and finally, in 1823, the members of the class organised it into a 'Mechanics' Institute'. Its purpose was defined as 'instructing artisans in the scientific principles of arts and manufactures'.
Mechanics' institutes soon sprang up in many parts of the country. They were supported by subscriptions from the members and by donations from sympathisers. By 1845 there were 610 institutions, with 102,050 members. They were naturally most popular in the manufacturing districts, such as London, Lancashire, and Yorkshire; but there were a few successful institutes also in such rural centres as Lewes, Basingstoke, Chichester and Lincoln. Each Institute usually included a library, reading-room, and museum of models and apparatus. Lectures were provided on mathematics and its applications, and on natural and experimental science and drawing. Sometimes literary subjects, such as English and foreign languages, were included. Travelling lecturers and circulating boxes of books helped to keep the smaller institutes in touch with one another." from http://www.uefap.com/reading/exercise/ess2/barnard.htm
Artisan: “A skilled manual worker who uses tools and machinery in a particular craft. A person who displays great dexterity.” from http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/artisan
Mechanics institutes provided:
from: http://www.infed.org/walking/wa-birb.htm; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechanics_institute