A global philosophy hub
Sorry I haven't posted much in the last few days. A lot of deadlines arrived simultaneously: I'm trying to get a mortgage while also applying for academic funding. You know that scene in Brazil where Robert De Niro gets lost in a blizzard of paperwork? That's basically me this last week.
The academic funding proposal is for a project I want to do next year. It would have two strands. First, research into philosophy groups: their history, their contemporary growth, the role of the internet, the different ways they are run. Secondly, setting up a 'global philosophy hub', with a map allowing people to find their nearest philosophy group, or to start and publicise their own group. It would also have videos on it showcasing some different groups and giving an idea of how to run groups, a free, short ebook called 'how to run a philosophy group', and some information about the history of philosophy groups.
At the moment, there is a 'global map' for Socrates Cafes, of which there are roughly 50 around the world. That map is on meetup.com, and you could ask: why replicate meetup? But there are many other types of philosophy groups around the world, including the Skeptics in the Pub, Philosophy In Pubs, the New Stoa, ethical societies, debating societies, philosophy schools and salons - not all of which are run in the style of Socrates Cafe, and not all of which are on meetup. I think it would be cool to create a hub giving all of these different organisations the chance to publicise their activities and attract new members, as well as find out a bit about the history of philosophy groups, and share ideas about how to run such groups.
The hub would be run with public money (well, it will if I get this funding), so it wouldn't be trying to sell any particular 'brand' of philosophy.
I'm sending off the proposal tomorrow. Fingers crossed.