#MadeinLambeth - Good for Councils?

A few weeks ago on 22 & 23 June, we did our first Good for Nothing in collaboration with a council, Lambeth Council. This isn't just any council though, they are the first to pioneer the concept of cooperative council in the UK. Here's a little film we put together about the event:

Made in Lambeth Film from Good for Nothing on Vimeo.

The 48 hour gig brought together 45 Lambeth-based doers, makers and residents to work alongside social entrepreneurs and members of the co-operative council on 3 tangible briefs. The first is improving communications and how we can open up Lambeth's online presence to foster more two way dialogue and engagement. The second is prototyping ways of engaging Lambeth folk in improving provision of health and social care services across the borough through greater co-operation and more open feedback loops. And the third is all around finding new ways to get diverse groups of Lambeth residents in re-imagining Lambeth's 60+ parks and green spaces and developing new ways to run and develop them.

The atmosphere at the Oasis Centre was buzzing and as the weekend progressed, you could sense the enthusiasm for this new, faster and more creative way of working, especially for the council folk. The three teams got so much done and quickly got into 'doing not talking' mode by getting out and about visiting doctor's surgeries, interviewing people at bus shelters and putting up feedback boards in Lambeth's open spaces.

What was made after 48 hours

The first team designed, coded and launched a website in 48 hours. The identity for the new site, intended to sit alongside Lambeth.gov.uk, was designed to reflect the cooperative nature of the campaign, so, while some key content was identified and pulled across the official council site, the team also created tools to start to aggregate content from other local blogs. The basics for a Lambeth co-op website were created and the website can be seen here: http://ilovelambeth.com.

The second group worked on setting up Healthwatch, a local consumer group for users of health and social care services in the borough. This was probably the trickiest of the 3 briefs, but the team powered through and by the second day they had developed a service design for the consumer group, designed a prototype web page, launched a Twitter account and profiled Lambeth residents including a process designed for coproducing a network of community connectors.

The final team looked at how they can increase the use of Lambeth parks and open spaces. After exploring some parks on the first day and seeing the bigger ones well used, the group decided to focus on the smaller ‘unloved’ green spaces in and around estates. They put together a 'Love your Space' campaign and encouraged people to identify ‘unloved spaces’ and start to develop ideas around how they can be used and loved again.

So did we do Good for Councils? Judging by the outputs, positive energy, enthusiastic tweets and ongoing interest in Lambeth as a cooperative council, the first Made in Lambeth was a real success.

Stay tuned for the next Made in Lambeth coming up on 13/14 October.

More warblings