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A Chain Of Hope

I tweet about hope every Monday, and here I explain how this began. I published the original version of this article on LinkedIn on 8th January.

UPDATE! - the latest tweet in my “chain of hope”, on 16th March, shared a video of some wonderful Shanghai Symphony Orchestra musicians spreading a musical message of love and hope - check it out!


I’ve created a chain of hope, and it's possible that it might be never-ending!

On 30th September last year, I took part in a terrific event in Dublin, organised by the Irish Association of Social Workers (IASW), called Advocates and Allies. This had its roots in an event put on by Vasilios Ioakimidis, Professor of Social Work at Essex University, on 'Radical Relationships', which looked to bring together radical and relationship-based social work. Kerry Cuskelly of IASW did a great job of organising the Dublin event at which I presented along with Vasilios and Marc Gardiner of the Zebra Collective.

I focused on hope, and its radical nature - my presentation was called A Radical Focus on Hope in fact (and you can find the slides in the Resources section of my website Lots of tweets were sent out that day, 30th September, which happened to be a Monday.

The following Monday, 7th October, a tweet went out from the Jeremy Corbyn Twitter account, which attached a short video of him speaking at Newcastle City Hall, and said:

"As the wonderful poet Emily Dickinson put it: Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops - at all."

Notwithstanding the risk of being seen to be party political (and I've hardly hidden this on social media especially in recent times), I couldn't resist retweeting this, and linking it with my professional thoughts on hope - not least as we had started the UK Association of Solution Focused Practice conference in Bath in July with this very poem.

So, I retweeted it with the comment (as it was exactly a week since my Dublin presentation), "A Radical Focus on Hope - every Monday!"

Then the following Monday, 14th October, I thought, why not keep this going? And as I was at the hope-filled launch event of the hope-inducing organisation ATD Fourth World's research into Understanding Poverty, I retweeted the previous week's retweet with a comment about that.

And since then, I've tweeted each week, almost always on a Monday (it would be always, but one can be a little forgetful sometimes), on a different aspect, or example, of a radical focus on hope, always as a comment on the previous week's tweet.

What this has led to is a chain of tweets on a radical focus on hope, going all the way back to Monday 7th October (though it really started on 30th September), with the latest one being this Monday, 6th January, with a comment and photo (about hope - see below) from an exhibition at the Tate Modern that I went to on the Sunday the day before (of Olafur Eliasson's work - brilliant, and the last day, unfortunately, if you missed it).

You can see every tweet in this chain of hope, if you go to this latest one, which is a retweet of the previous one, so you can then click on that, which is a retweet of the one before that, which you can then click on, and so on...

I have no intention of stopping, so - the chain continues. Look out for the latest instalment of this Radical Focus on Hope - every Monday! On my Twitter feed @GuyShennan

Guy Shennan 19th March 2020

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