AddventureBrum is a fun filled weekend that uses design principles to get diverse people together from the commaunity to work on ideas that can be implemented in the city of Birmingham, England. People from all walks of life to come together, share ideas, and co-design the next big community venture in Birmingham.

“Our mission is to work collectively with communities to help bring ideas to life for accelerating social innovation.”

This is the 2nd year I have taken part.

Organised by the excitable guys at Future Leaders Club.

The start of the first day is always great you get to meet new and interesting people. Encouraged to create badges for someone else, I had my badge created Joanna Axinte, and I create Jo’s.

After a long week of work, I was ready to get the coffee into me to get started on collaboration. However, the team had other plans to get us and moving.

Obviously, we were better than the Gorilla in the Italians song for the Eurovision song contest that night.

Everyone else can see the Gorilla, right? Right? *looks at Baileys, throws away Baileys *

— BBC Eurovision (@bbceurovision) May 13, 2017

The weekend got even better when we had to work in our groups to create a life still photo of what the world will look like in 20 years.

#AddVentureBrum caption this!!! What is @DomCushnan up to? #socialinnovation

— Future Leaders (@_Future_Leaders) May 13, 2017

Before I get into the serious work we did and our idea here is my understanding of what a Birmingham Bull should look like.

The Addventure organisers got us to work through our ideas using various design thinking toolkits. The team I was part of kept evolving our idea. We wanted Birmingham to be the best city in the UK, if not Europe and the World. We discussed multiple themes, two stood out, Mental Health and Artificial Intelligence. Since Mental Health was going to have its own event for AddventureBrum later on in the year we decided to focus on the AI theme. How can Birmingham as having one of the youngest populations in all of Europe become what we described as a prototype city and have it so that people would flock from all over to live and work here? What if AI was used in the running of public services.

As we found ourselves going around in circles, Jazz brought us all back as a group and discussed and helped us all shape our ideas into actionable plans.

Open Society was born

Open Society

Our ideas evolved to the point where we knew that if wanted any change to have a “utopian” view of public services we needed a couple of first steps.

We worked through the problem of asking how engaged people are in the local decision-making process of public services. We built a survey shared it online and went to the streets to ask the general public.

The results from our survey.

Our presentation.

“We knew that it was no longer enough for us to merely inform or provide information. Parisians wanted to actually help projects evolve… We wanted to construct a stronger relationship with citizens”.

Pauline Véron, Deputy Mayor of Paris

People I met.

I met some wonderful people too many to mention. Algar who has shown real leadership in our NHS. Kumbi who consistently lit up the room and came on her birthday, Joanna who’s curious mind is going to change the world. Matt who I loved talking too about how we technically change the world together. Jazz who is full of inspirational quotes and if it wasn’t for his taking a step a few years ago all of this was not possible if he had not brought his idea to life as Future Leaders Club, respect. Callie who is one of the kindest people you will meet and who works with Jazz in FLC, I am looking forward to addventureMind with her. Sarah who despite starting a new job on Monday came and supported the event, you can see the fire in her eyes as she wants to get behind some local projects. Lynda who travelled all the way from Liverpool, I had such a delightful conversations with her about how do we together tackle the issues around all forms of mental health, and who consistently got us all to remember to think about how our ideas/products/services would support the disabled. Of course my teammates, Michaela and Marion both who worked with me as we kept going from one great idea to another and were a delight to work with and look forward to working with further.

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