Friday provided insights into the area of interactions in the City, including digital interactions, community interactions and designed interactions. Teresa Dillon of Polar Produce began the morning with a talk illustrating the relationships between locality and environments. Teresa conveyed how art and technology interventions can affect how a community thinks about where they live and their relationship with this environment. She questioned how you address the hard perceptions of neighbourhood and art as a means to effect change.
Moving from the world of digital interactions, Sam Bishop, the magician behind Street Feast, drew attention to the culture of community interactions. On July 18th 2010, Street Feast instigated 35 nationwide events for neighbours to share lunch, celebrate local community and get to know one another. He generously shared with the team tips on engaging people, challenges he encountered and the drive behind Street Feast.
Finally, Lauren Currie from Snook flew in from Glasgow to talk to the team about her experiences of being a young, female entrepreneur working in the area of service design. She provided wonderful advice to the team about listening, putting yourself in other people’s shoes and creating positive change, with the mantra, “design WITH people rather than FOR people”. With the team now aiming for 80 examples and 80 ideas in total, they quickly pulled apart the speakers talks, paused to celebrate Lauren’s birthday, then launched into their research and ideation. Things are heating up in the studio!
Design Week reports on the Magnificent Maps exhibition at the British Library where illustrators were invited to create maps of places where they felt they belonged. The results are rather interesting indeed…
The focus of today was on Society in Dublin, with the speakers each bringing a varied focus to the discussion. Firstly, Peter O’Brien of Dartmouth Square spoke about the mood of collective action and sustainability growing in Dublin, the battle for ownership over Dartmouth Square and the growing focal point of Georgian Squares for communities in Dublin. Having negotiated the reopening of Darthmouth Square, Peter went on to restore the park and organise and facilitate a range of activities for the local community, such as yoga classes, charity fundraising, activism and film nights. Contrasting with the local scale, Tobias Lau of Social Action in Copenhagen brought the focus of the morning to a global scale. With a background in enthnography and having worked on Massive Change and with Bruce Mau Design, Tobias set up Social Action to give people the tools to change the world.
Finally, Dr Fergus McCabe rounded the discussion off by bringing to light the struggle of the forgotten in society, and in particular drug addicts. A sobering and reflecting talk that highlighted the many failings of Irish society to provide for those most in need of support. In the afternoon, the team again undertook finding 20 examples and 20 ideas relating to Society.
Tobias Lau: www.socialaction.dk
In July of this year, Conservative party leader and now prime minister of Great Britain, David Cameron announced his ambition to create a Big Society. As part of Cameron’s vision, the UK would move away from what he termed the Big Government introduced by Labour and start building on the strengths found in local communities.
Since its launch, Big Society has gained a reputation for being a slightly amorphous topic; owing in part to the fact that Cameron has avoided giving any definition to what a Big Society is and what it might look like.
This week an article published in the Guardian’s society section commented on a report recently published by the RSA on Connected Communities. The RSA’s report, which focuses on the potential of social capital, looks at “how networks might offer a fresh view of working in neighbourhoods”. For its study, the RSA interviewed 280 residents of New Cross Gate in south east London. Out of these 280 residents one quarter could not identify anyone in their social group who they thought they could approach in order to contact someone with more power.
However, what the report found was that certain key players within the community such as Phil Nice, a local resident who runs a popular Monday evening pub quiz and has also been responsible for organizing local community events.
So the debate over Big Society has become much less a what than a how? How do we identify and link up the champions of our communities?
In an article entitled Burning Down the Temple (2003), Director of the Project Arts centre Willie White discusses the role of Arts in the community and comments on a then recent conference held in Ballymun’s Access Arts centre: The Role of Arts Centres in Civil Society
The location of the symposium in Ballymun was potent. All around us were derelict concrete tower blocks, evidence of the failure of a utopian planning ideal that had not taken into account the ’existing habits of living’ of citizens.
Original article: here
Dublin as the underdog, the do-er and the rule breaker was discussed today as we explored the theme of entrepreneurship. What are the pitfalls, challenges and virtues of life as an entrepreneur in Dublin? Traditions versus conventions, the distance between you and the change you want to make, finding gatekeepers, staying positive, surrounding yourself with like-minded people and maintaining focus were common themes in all three of the inspirational talks. They were given by Killian Stokes co founder of mygoodpoints.org, an online platform for donating to charity projects using unused loyalty points, donations and payroll giving; Ronan Harrington co director of Ark, a not for profit clothing brand on a mission to spread kindness; and Olivier Vander Elst co founder of Greenaer, who are bringing green transport to Ireland through various products such as the Reva electric car.
While the team were given a real insight into the difficulties entrepreneurs face in the City, they were also inspired to hear of the openness of Dubliners to the passionate person working to create change. Again, the team were challenged to come up with 20 examples and 20 ideas related to entrepreneurship in the afternoon.
Danish entrepreneur and founder of Skype, Martin Lund talks to Peter Day about his experience of going from boom to bust. At the start of the recession, Lund lost €80 million of personal wealth when an investment in a free Danish newspaper failed to pay off. Thanks to Danish law however, Martin Lund is already out of bankruptcy and has engaged once more with his insatiable entrepreneurial spirit.