Tag Archives: creativity

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


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Tip for the weekend!

Amsterdam Art Weekend

This weekend November 30 and December 1 and 2 is the Amsterdam Art Weekend. Explore the contemporary art scene throughout the entire city. 27 leading and best-known art institutes will participate and present some interesting contemporary art pieces. And to get you warmed up a bit I will show you some of the exhibitions that can be seen this weekend.

If you are interested to visit, or just interested, take a look at their website http://www.capitala.nl


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Green up the city!

Street art or graffiti has always been and always will be the guerilla kind of visual culture. One of my colleagues has recently posted about Banksy in her post ‘Banging your head against a brick wall’.

Today I would like to write about guerilla gardening, specifically about the technique Moss Graffiti.

I have seen posts and instructions how to make moss graffiti on several websites and blogs and was really impressed and inspired by this movement. Moss graffiti is basically the green version of regular graffiti – mixing moss with natural ingredients (here is a tutorial if you ever want to try this out) and painting this mixture on walls and other objects. The difference, apart from the obvious, is that this kind of graffiti needs to be watered – it is a living object!

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Most of the people are opposed to graffiti because in their opinion it is vandalism of public and private properties – but I believe that graffiti adds value to the character of a city and makes it unique in its own way. And moss graffiti is a great new approach to turn this much hated illegal guerilla art movement into something that is socially more accepted. Everybody is talking about eco-friendliness and sustainability – eco-friendly graffiti that green up cities? Nothing wrong with that!

Unfortunately I have not seen any moss graffiti in real life yet but I hope that these pieces of art will pop up everywhere soon.

Green up your cities!


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Turn ordinary objects into visual culture


Some people can turn everything into art! I won’t even try to explain it, just look at these examples below.


Dirty visual culture!

I don’t have to tell you that visual culture can be seen everywhere and on many different objects. But do you think of visual culture when you see the image below?

I guess not! However the artist Scott Wade thinks about this differently. He amazed me by this beautiful art that he makes on the rear window of a car. Below you can see some examples. Still haven’t seen enough? Check out his website: www.dirtycarart.com


Old fashioned cassette tapes and film reels

What can you still do with these things! Well not a lot according to most people. Due to the technology these products are almost banned from our lives, but not for the artist Erika Iris Simmons. She uses these products to make portraits. Just take a look below at these amazing art pieces.


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I guess I don’t need to explain more! So be inspired and when you are going to clean up your garage think about this again and see what you can do with objects that at first look useless.



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Let’s talk about…

Nope, not what you’re thinking! We need to talk about the significance of visual culture.

Let’s play a mind game – close your eyes and try to imagine a world without visual culture. Now open them again – what do you see? Not much, right? That is exactly what I was thinking.

It reminds me of how we take visual culture for granted; we see it every day, everywhere – it is in fact omnipresent. But are we aware of it? Do we appreciate its existence?

Let’s go back to the mind game: close your eyes again and imagine a world without visual culture – how would the world look like? How would this affect our daily lives? I am pretty sure that we would not be able to function or make decisions properly – as I can speak on my behalf only, I can say that I am a very visual person and that most of my decisions are based on visual impressions. Advertising is part of visual culture, images have an influence on us – would you be able to differentiate your favourite snack (on condition that it is packaged and you cannot see it) from others? Without a picture on the box it would, at least for me, be difficult. This is a rather trivial and random example but let’s go further. What if the Eiffel Tower in Paris would disappear or the Buckingham Palace in London? These monuments belong to visual culture as well – cities would lose their landmarks, their identities. We would not have television, magazines or any other “visible” culture. The world, in fact, would be quite boring without media, art, architecture, graphic design, fashion and the list could go on forever. What I am trying to say is that we should be aware of this and that we should recognise the significance and influence of visual culture on our daily lives.

So open your eyes and immerse yourself to visual culture and appreciate it!


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The Creative Revolution

In unsure times like these when economies are collapsing and nobody really can predict what the world will look like in 20 years time, I believe that there is a need for creative people.  People who can come up with new, innovative solutions for current and future problems and people who are able to express themselves in creative ways and think outside of the box. 

All week it has been in the back of my mind that I wanted to write about the Creative Revolution and the importance of creativity but it never really became clear to me how I wanted to put this. Until I came across a video of Iceland.

Before I visited Iceland last year  someone asked me jokily: ‘’Why the hell would you go to Iceland? It’s cold and isolated and the people there have no money, only ash clouds and snow!’’ I guess I probably replied that there is beautiful scenery and whales and horses and geysers and geothermal spas but I never expected anything from Reykjavik and its city life to be honest. That’s also the reason why the first thing that struck me after my arrival in the capital city was the outstanding street fashion, the design furniture and the underground indie rock music coming from the speakers of what we would call a vintage café.

I personally find it extremely interesting how the people in Iceland have been teaming-up against all odds in order to create the possibility of a future with a groundbreaking new political paradigm. This video answered many of the questions I had in regards to economic instability and its connection to the growth of the creative sector. I think the video shows that Iceland has a tragic story –not without hope and optimism!- but the message is very clear. There is a need for creative people and new, different ways to make money without destroying nature and natural resources. Definitely worth watching this and in my opinion a piece of art of its own!


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Social innovation is…… eh, yeah.. what is it exactly?

That’s a good question! As you can see from our logo, the Bridge Research Agency strives to connect creative industries with social innovation. But somehow, we failed to go a bit more into detail on what social innovation is all about! Therefore, some enlightment into the topic will be presented below.

According Geoff Mulgan, an expert on social innovation, social innovation includes “innovative activities and services that are motivated by the goal of meeting a social need and that are predominantly developed and diffused through organisations whose primary purposes are social”. In other terms, you can think of social innovation as a process to help the needs of society by utilizing creativity, thinking out-of-the-box and working together.

Even though this might sound complicated, the concept itself is relatively simple and has been brought forth by society for society to fix, help and contribute to societal issues or society in general. Therefore, examples of social innovation can be found throughout our modern-day society, just think of high schools, kindergardens, healthcare and the fair-trade concept!

But there is more! Not only does society benefit from social innovation, it has also proven to stimulate economic growth, as 50-80% of economic growth comes from innovation and knowledge. Due to this success, various fields such as social entrepreneurship, community development, design and public policy are becoming more interested and involved in social innovation.

Now that you’ve read this, it might just sound too good to be true. Even though creating sustainable, creative and innovative solutions is difficult, it can, and more importantly, has been done before! As our project relates to this subject, you will be sure to find more on this topic and how to generate social innovation in our next posts.

So stay tuned!


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