Re: RSGB Convention - Grow, Merge or Disband Your Club

RICHARD THOMAS <r.p.thomas@...>

Ronald, thanks for this.  One of the most difficult misunderstandings to counter about hub thinking has been that it proposes the closure or change of successful clubs.  In fact, it's the exact opposite. 

Successful clubs are the life-blood of Amateur Radio.  Hub thinking simply celebrates that success, and wants more people to be part of it. With a rapidly declining population of licensed Amateurs, in the next few years we will see a massive decline in the number of smaller clubs.  Larger successful clubs will continue, and consequently grow in importance.  And wider access to them will be by web connectivity - just as Essex Ham is demonstrating.

Hub thinking means that instead of being 'closed to non-members', or 'only open if you join the club and pay an annual subscription', these clubs could join with others to become resource hubs, providing teaching, training, expertise, hands-on operating with a fully operational station, etc. They could also associate with other organisations that use radio as part of their hobby - drones, app creation, radio astronomers, and so on.  They then become centres of shared expertise, experiment, and enthusiasm with radio as a core element.

A second myth is that hub thinking will deplete resources.  It's not true. If these encounters are monetised in even a small way, revenue is likely to grow.  For example, 15 people paying a £20 a year subscription = £300 a year.  300 visits from a wider individual pool paying £2 an encounter = £600 a year. Clubs that think and behave like hubs are likely to be even more successful.

It's easy to feel threatened by new thinking.  But stop and listen carefully;  it may be that you're dismissing something important.


From: <> on behalf of RONALD WHITE via Groups.Io <ronald_white444@...>
Sent: 14 October 2019 12:35
To: <>
Subject: Re: [Ham Clubs] RSGB Convention - Grow, Merge or Disband Your Club
Only problem I can see if we all go virtual clubs with no clubs as they are now then any practical teaching needed or even people wishing to learn new aspects will have not a lot of places field days are good but not if weather is inclement  so clubs as they are do have a place.lights blue touch paper stands back with tin hat on 😊

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

-------- Original message --------
From: Pete M0PSX <group@...>
Date: 14/10/2019 00:22 (GMT+00:00)
Subject: [Ham Clubs] RSGB Convention - Grow, Merge or Disband Your Club

Hi all,

I wonder if anyone here attended the RSGB Convention this week, and in particular, the last session of the day, about clubs?

For those who didn't, here is an extract from my RSGB Convention 2019 Report

Probably the highlight of my weekend. Run by the ICQ Podcast team, this was a panel of two ICQ presenters, two RSGB Board members (Ian Shepherd and Kamal Singh), plus Richard G4JJP (author of a controversial article in the June 2019 Radcom suggesting a change to club structures)

ICQ Podcast’s “Gow, Merge or Disband your Club” session

To be honest, I’m still digesting the contents of this talk and reviewing four pages of copious notes taken. There’s a lot to be said about this session – far too much for this summary. A few of the points I underlined:

  • “Hubs not clubs”
  • “Club baggage”
  • “Hub” vs “Virtual clubs”
  • “Should the RSGB be a hub?”
  • To Google: “Disintermediation”, “centre set” “closed set” (bounded set?)
  • A mention for the “Brickworks” scheme (that didn’t launch at the Convention)
  • Some RSGB regional teams issue a “regional newsletter”
  • Top-down vs Bottom-up approach
  • Some interesting thoughts on youth access to amateur radio
  • Clear divisions between single stand-alone clubs, and those acting as “hubs” to a greater or lesser extent

It was great that the efforts of Essex Ham members was acknowledged, and it was very rewarding that both Richard and the ICQ team highlighted Essex Ham as positive examples of the hub model. Positive mentions too for CambHams and Suffolk RED. RSGB also acknowledged that virtual clubs are “starting to appear”

Any thoughts?

Pete M0PSX

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