Category Archives: Social innovation

Every Ending is a New Beginning

I’m delighted –but also a bit sad- to announce to you that we presented the final results of the project to our commissioner today. Now that the Research Report, the Project Plan, the Course of Action and the article for Colin’s Uncover Magazine are handed in, we’re all very satisfied with the outcome and the process as a whole. I’ll might even miss the project and the lovely team I was working with but as they say; every ending is the start of something new (only if the Mayans were wrong though)! So yes… for the members of Bridge this project has ended today. However, the process of Social Innovation does not stop and the network we set up with be sustained so that the solutions can be realized eventually. We created a Facebook page that will function as a platform for everyone who is –and wants to be-  involved in this project so if you’d like to share your opinions and ideas or if you just like what we did; go to http://www.facebook.com/bridgeresearchagency (and press LIKE)! If anyone of you is interested in receiving more information about the documents I mentioned earlier, please feel free to send an email to  Bridge.researchagency@gmail.com!

Below you can find some slides of our final presentation:

And last but not least, this blog will NOT die! You don’t have to worry cause we are planning to continue writing, as we all enjoyed sharing our ideas and progress with you here! We might not post every day, but there are definitely some interesting developments going on we can’t keep to ourselves… Curious? Stay tuned!

A.S.

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Networking Session 2.0 a.k.a. next step towards social innovation

As my colleagues have already mentioned, we have had our second experiment today – or as we call it ‘Creative Network Session 2.0’!

Here’s a brief update on what has been going on today in the Academy for Leisure Breda, NL…

As you know (if not, go read our previous posts ;D) the first session was about defining problems within the food sector which could be solved by means of social innovation – for this we have invited people from the food sector and people from visual culture, to  have the creative input. Since the results of the first session were still rather broad and due to the positive feedback of the participants, we have decided to carry out a second session and to test more creative techniques to make the ideas more concrete.

The techniques we have used were the Six Thinking Hats by De Bono (see my colleague’s post here) and an adaption of the world café method, which is about creating a special environment and dividing the participants into several groups, giving them the chance to discuss and share ideas in three rounds (where each member of the group is moving to a different table after each round).

We have combined this method with the six thinking hats and have ‘themed’ each round with a different hat – the outcomes we, or better the participants, have achieved after this were more concrete and workable. Furthermore, we hope to have persuaded the participants to take the initiative to work on this project and to take it a step closer to social innovation, since we will not be able to do so in this short time frame (yep, we’re almost done with studying and preparing ourselves for our bachelor’s degree!).

Cannot really say anything about the outcomes at this moment, since we need to evaluate them first – therefore, I suggest that you stay tuned for more updates!

Pictures tell more than words, so here are a few impressions of today’s session!

DSC02771 DSC02778DSC02788 - Kopie

GZM

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Here we go again!

On Thursday the 22nd of November, the members of Bridge performed an experiment with parties from the food and visual culture sector in order to create social innovation. For our faithful followers; I am sure you heard this before by now. But if not; be sure to check out the following posts: https://bridgeresearchagency.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/social-innovation-workshops-with-network-opportunity/ & https://bridgeresearchagency.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/social-innovation-sessions-with-network-opportunity-2-0/

Either way, did you also know that we are organising another experiment? Yes we are!

Due to the positive reactions from last time, and results from our evaluation, Bridge has decided to organize a second creative network session on the 11th of December. In this session, we will again invite parties from the food and visual culture sector in order to continue the process towards social innovation. This session will again include several techniques that stimulate the creative thinking of our participants and will only take place in a creative setting this time.

As this session will already take place within 5 days, the members of Bridge are in full preparation-mode to get everything ready and well organized. If you are interested in the results of this session, be sure to check out the blog next week for a full update. Until then, stay tuned!

Tessa.

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Creativity: What’s your definition?

I have been researching creativity for a while now and besides the fact that I find it so interesting, I also noticed that; the more I find out about definitions, theories, methods, approaches and views, the more mysterious it gets. Everybody has an idea about what is it and what it’s for, but there is no universal definition we all agree upon. You can ask 10 different people what they think creativity is, and I am pretty sure you will get 10 different answers.

Have a look at the following quotes of a few influential people you might know:

‘’The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources’’ Albert Einstein

’Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new thing.’’ Steve Jobs

‘’The chief enemy of creativity is ‘’good’’ sense.’’ Pablo Picasso

‘’Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.’’ Charles Mingus

As you can see the viewpoints are so diverse that we can’t really draw a conclusion looking at what other people said. Important to think about is how YOU define creativity for yourself. How you give shape to your thoughts and how you generate your ideas. Of course it is never wrong to look what others say and think, but eventually it is up to you. Below you can find a collection of TEDtalks about the beauty and difficulty of creativity to give you some inspiration:

Julie Burstein:  4 lessons in Creativity

Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius

David Kelley: How to build your creative confidence

Isaac Mizrahi: Fashion and Creativity

Amy Tan: Where does creativity hide

Steven Johnson: Where good ideas come from

Janet Echelman: Taking imagination seriously

Kirby Ferguson: Embrace the remix

Malcolm McLaren: Authentic creativity vs. karaoke culture

Tim Brown: Tales of creativity and play.

Click here to view these video’s and get inspired!

A.S.

Social Innovation sessions with network opportunity 2.0

As promised, today we will give you an insight into the content and set up of the two sessions we have planned on Thursday the 22nd of November.

For the past 10 weeks, the members of the Bridge Research Agency worked hard to set up a foundation of research on which an experiment concerning social innovation would be built. This research, concerning best practices, stakeholders, networking, social innovation and of course the issues, trends and current situation of North-Brabant in relation to the sectors of food and visual culture, has been conducted by performing over 17 expert interviews, reviewing scientific and governmental documents and reading numerous books and reports.

Because of this research, we are able to set up an experiment with several stakeholders that aim to create social innovation. This experiment, or better said these ‘creative networking sessions’, will bring people together from two completely different sectors in which they cooperate to form innovative ideas or concepts that aim to solve, partially solve or contribute to creating awareness for problems within the food sector.

These sessions will include stakeholders from both the visual culture and the food sector and are designed to stimulate social innovation. Therefore several methods and techniques will be applied during these sessions to test their effectiveness. The results of the experiment will be published in the next edition of the Uncover Magazine.

On Thursday the 22nd of November we will have two creative networking sessions, which both have their own topic. The first session will concern problems in the food industry in relation to health and lifestyle; such as overconsumption of salt or food waste from consumers. And the second session will concern problems in the food industry in relation to agriculture, production and packaging; such as intensive farming or recycling.
These sessions consist of two active parts in which we display problems within the sector, discuss these, brainstorm about possible solutions and design these by creating a more concrete idea or concept. Furthermore, as well as in between the two sessions and afterwards, there will be an opportunity to network with others over some delicious finger food and beverages.

Are you active within the visual culture sector or the food industry? Are you looking for networking opportunities? But above all, did we raise your interest? If you would like to participate or know someone that would like to come, just sent us an email to bridge.researchagency@gmail.com.

Don’t hesitate to contact us!

Tessa.

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Social Innovation Sessions with Network Opportunity

In the course of this project we have created a sort of scheme on how to bring the two worlds of visual culture and food together and came up with the idea of a creative workshop and network session. The workshops will take place next week and we have still spots available for the sessions on Thursday. If you would like to participate or know someone that would like to come, just sent us an email to bridge.researchagency@gmail.com.

The content of these sessions will be in Dutch. Here you can find the flyer and the program:

programma-22-november

Tomorrows blog will focus on the content and set up of the workshops, but if you have any questions before hand don’t hesitate to contact us.

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”Healthier Men, One Moustache at a Time”

As you all know by now (I hope), our project is about finding creative solutions to societal challenges and problems. Today, I would like to write about a project that does the same thing and has become very well-known over the previous years. It challenges people to do something collectively in order to raise awareness (and money) for a certain problem. Do you  already have idea what it is when I say it is related to November?

Exactly, Movember. The concept is rather simple: The challenge starts on the first of November with thousands of clean shaven men, who will let their moustaches grow for the next 30 days. The aim is to seek sponsorships for these efforts in order to raise money for prostate cancer research. Why is this project successful? Because In 2011, Movember raised $126 million in 14 countries! Pretty succesful in my opinion!

Below you can find a video with Adam Garone (co-founder of Movember):

Movember

“Movember—the growing tradition for men to sport a mustache during the month of November to raise awareness of prostate cancer—will soon be on the tip of everyone’s tongue—or lip rather. ” Los Angeles Magazine

A.S.

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Farming 3.0

Have you ever wondered what a rooftop farm looks like? In our last post we had already discussed the trend of rooftop farming and the developments in that area. Today I would like to present you a little project that I thought was very interesting and inspiring to me, the Eagle Street Rooftop farm in New York City.

The farm is located on a factory roof next to the East River in Brooklyn with a nice view over the skyline of Manhatten and comprises 6.000 square feet, which is about 1.8 square kilomters. As part of it’s program during growing season organic produce can be bought at an on site farmers market and members of the organization deliver their produce by bike to participating restaurants. The  Eagle Street Rooftop Farm offers a volunteer program and apprenticeships and internships for students and everyone who is interested, futhermore they try to educate people about food with their farm classes.

Listen to Annie Novak, co-founder of the project talk about the Rooftop Farm and the importance of urban farming:

If you would like to get more insight, check out the website here.

This example got me thinking whether I know of any rooftop farms, but I couldn’t come up with any. Do you have cool examples of urban farming?

SH

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European Capital of Culture 2018: BrabantStad

The initiative of European Capital of Culture has become one of the most high-profile cultural events in Europe and it provides living proof of the richness and diversity of culture on the continent. More than 40 cities have been ECoC so far but you probably think now; why is this interesting for your project?

Well, five cities in Brabant – Breda, Den Bosch, Eindhoven, Helmond & Tilburg – are nominated to become European Capital of Culture 2018! This initiative is called BrabantStad and it is defined as a competitive and sustainable developing urban network. The nominated cities are not only selected on their current situation but also on their plans for the future. BrabantStad has set up 6 goals for the future:

1. Balance between urban and green

2. Sustainable and environmental friendly region

3. High quality cultural, sports and economic facilities

4. Leading knowledge and innovation region of Europe

5. Internal and external accessibility

6. BrabantStad, a strong network.

Below you can find the English Promo video of BrabantStad:

In relation to this project, visual culture is playing an important role within Brabantstad  This specific notion of art is the upcoming trend in Breda and its surroundings and encompasses the phenomenon of images in every medium – be it advertising, film or paintings. So actually, the visual culture of Brabant will be influenced by the candidacy of European Capital of Culture. Keep an eye on this blog if you want to find out more!

 

A.S.

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The Food Recovery Network

The past weeks I have been busy looking into inspiring projects and best practices for our project. During my search online I came across a project initiated by students that I found very inspiring. The dedication of the students and volunteers involved is heartwarming and therefore I decided to present it in todays post.

Basically the Food Recovery Network (FRN) is a project initiated by students of the University of Maryland in the United States. It is their mission to prevent food waste by collecting leftover food from college cafeterias and events and providing it to churches, homeless shelters and people in need. The initiative is completely run and initiated by volunteer students investing a vast amount of time in changing the world a little bit by creating social innovation. In my oppinion by supporting homeless people and other food banks and offering this service for free the students at the FRN have tackled one major problem in the food sector. By doing our research in the field it became obvious quite fast that food waste is a major issue. Several different projects have been launched all over the world, but I find this particular initiative very inspiring because it is lead by students that believe in something, have social courage and want to help changing things, a trait that is unfortunately rarely found in todays world.

Initiated by students at the University of Maryland in very short time the project has spread out all over the United States and been picked up by students at different colleges following one major aim, preventing food waste and feeding everyone in need. The fact that this project spread fast and the focus on sustainability shows that there is a critical need and primarly also interest by other people which helped the Food Recovery Network to gain attention during the past year. On their website the students invite off campus businesses to participate by explaining them the benefits of donating food leftovers and offering help for pickup and delivery of the food.

Here are two videos about the Food Recovery Network which are definitely worth checking out and you should also visit their website http://www.foodrecoverynetwork.org/

7 min coverage

Promotional Video


I hope you’ll be as inspired as I was. Enjoy! SH

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