Start'up Stories & Positive Impact / London

Research workshop n.3
Local businesses Disco Soup London, Jack's Veg, Growing Communities
Hosted at The Shoreditch Trust, London
July 2015

The format for this workshop iteration followed the previous.  It was open to public and set in the co-working space Industry that is part of the charity Shoreditch Trust* on a weekday after work hours. 

Research Questions
How to guide the design the process to focus on generating ideas that consider the qualities of sustainability? 
Does the facilitation of the process need to be specific and time controlled? 
How feasible are the solutions the group generates for the SFIs?

Local sustainable food businesses participating
Jack’s Veg - one-man small organic farming
Disco Soup - monthly public event on food waste run by charity Feedback
Growing Communities - organic box scheme operating for 20 years

This workshop aimed to design a way for participants to generate more final ideas for communications that reflect qualities of sustainability.  In the room, three groups were organised around a table each and participants were all facing the canvas and cards on the table, unlike previous workshop, which proved that people facing the cards forward were able to engage more.

This workshop saw how group dynamics could be influenced by participants that are shy to contribute.  Some groups benefited more in co-creation and conversation from one particular group where participants did not contribute so much.  Might be valuable to think about how to get everyone engaged at the same level.
It is important to reconsider the spaces used for the workshop activity.  This space turned out to be less inspiring than anticipated.  This is more important than it seems and should not be overlooked because it drains attention and energy from the designer facilitator as well as participants.

3 months later
Growing Communities is thinking about re-designing the plastic bag used until now and repurposing it after ideas generated in workshop.
“We haven't implemented anything immediately but it helped us to think about what we are going to do next, so some of those were around the bags we use and what we could do instead we are certainly looking at.  There was another element people were talking about which was thanking our members more, if they introduce a new member and how we can do that” Post-workshop interview [3 months]

Jacks Veg developing a program for farm visits during the summer. 
“It wasn't a new idea I did think of it when I first started but basically the idea of having open days. […] It reinforced the idea that actually this is quite something I need to get on pretty sharp because it's more effective than wasting money wasting time going to big events when it costs nothing for me to do”  Post-workshop interview [3 months]

Disco Soup inspired by some of the ideas hires person to take on communications role.
“…The fact that these events [disco soups] tackle loneliness, a massive problem as well, and thinking about the positive social aspects, communicating about those more explicitly, connecting to organizations that might not necessarily have food waste as their core mission but actually would really benefit from those kinds of exchanges.” Post-workshop interview [3 months]


* Shoreditch Trust delivers workspace to micro, small and medium sized creative and tech businesses. All income generated through Shoreditch Trust’s Workspace and Enterprise Programme is re-invested in our charitable initiatives.