big ideas in Barnet

thinkpublic held a successful Ideas Festival event in Barnet last Friday, with over 80 local people coming along to get encouragement and support to apply for Barnet’s Big Society Innovation Bank fund. The Big Society Innovation Bank was set up by Barnet Council to kick-start citizen and community-led projects that help local communities flourish. At the Festival, experts were on hand to offer advice and support. Local people could sign-up for sessions on everything from help with completing application forms to creative ways of injecting more innovation into their ideas. People were also supported to critically evaluate and strengthen their ideas in order to maximise benefits to the community. An important objective of the event was to help local people clarify their thinking around what it is they wanted to achieve through their projects and the steps they needed to make this a reality. To support this objective we designed a creative engagement process, incorporating the ‘Innovator 2000’ (pictured). thinkpublic Engagement Designer Alice sat inside the Innovator 2000 and listened to people describe their projects. The Innovator 2000 then processed this information into a simple set of statements and principles, which people could use to reflect and improve upon their project ideas. Thanks are due to Barnet Council and the experts who supported the event. We would particularly like to thank CommUNITY Barnet, UnLtd, Involve, Red Ochre, Social Enterprise Coalition, Social Enterprise London and Cephas Akuklu for generously giving their time and creative energy. The deadline for local people to submit their ideas to the Innovation Bank is 29th July. The best ideas from this stage will then go forward to a second stage in the autumn, where projects have the chance to win between £500 and £50,000 to help turn their ideas into a reality. 

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