What’s in a name?

SPI logoKhris Raistrick ponders the merit of a name change.

Remember when towns used to be ‘twinned’? I think the concept is on the wane now, mainly because people realised it was really just a wheeze for ‘dignitaries’ to go on ‘fact-finding’ jaunts around the world at the expense of the taxpayers. Preferably to the Maldives.

[OK, the truth is rather more prosaic. No-one in the UK, or the world for that matter, is twinned with anywhere in the Maldives. But fair play to the worthies in Coventry – twinned with 27 towns around the world. Special mention also to Leeds – the links with Ulan Bator in Mongolia are self-evident, surely – and Stevenage, whose burghers beat a regular path to Skymkent in Kazakhstan and, no doubt, vice-versa.]

But here’s a concept to tickle your tootsies…how about organisations twinning with each other? Middlesbrough is paired with Middlesborough in Kentucky, so why can’t the SPI join hands with other SPIs around the world?

We might learn something from each other…

After all, what’s not to glean, surely, from the Society for Philosophical Inquiry, a not-for-profit organisation promoting the discussion of philosophy? It must make sense. Well, once we’ve defined what ‘sense’ is, of course. Which might take some time, admittedly.

Software in the Public Interest, a not-for-profit organisation promoting free and open-source software, must surely have something to offer us, and us them. After all, we’re on twitter!

Don’t knock the Software Patent Institute either, an American not-for-profit outfit assisting in the correct assignment of software patents. [Why don’t these two become one?]

So far, so not-for-profit.

OK, so Shotmed Paper Industries, an Egyptian paper manufacturer, and Simulations Publications Inc., an American publisher of board war games, might present more interesting challenges when it comes to sharing an ethos, but we can do it, I am certain. That’s what twinning is all about!

A spanner in the works, however. At last week’s SPI Steering Group monthly meeting, it was mooted that the Stanley People’s Initiative might be better served in changing its name when the running of Stanley Halls is handed over.

That is no doubt a conversation that those connected with, or interested in, the SPI will be having in the coming weeks.

 It all starts with an SPI marketing sub-committee meeting at Yeha Noha on Tuesday at 7pm, led by SPI’s very own marketing guru and expert in all things 21st century, John Rother. All welcome. Just let him know.

Spookily, and no word of a lie, after the latest SPI session, and the introduction of the possibility of changing the name, I noticed, just round the corner from where I live, the letters ‘SPI’ in yellow on the pavement next to a lamppost.

I’ll bet you one thing. It had nothing to do with the  Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence!  

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