Project Twenty4: 24hrs of local sustainable innovation

"You cannot plough a field by turning it over in your mind." Anonymous

Last weekend, we went down to the University of Wales, Trinity St Davids Carmarthen in West Wales to help run the UK's first 24 hour sustainable innovation event. Called Project Twenty4, the idea was to work with a couple of hundred local people to develop ideas to tackle local issues around food, waste, energy and transport.

The whole gig was set-up brilliantly by Aled Vaughan Owen from Menter Cwm Gwendraeth - an impressive local community organisation doing regeneration and environmental projects.

It was an awesome experience. Practical and inspiring. And sets a great blueprint for future events - working alongside the inspiring combination of Matt Hart - Kiwi, surfer and creator of a Wayne - a digital facilitator to accelerate innovation - and the force of nature that is Andy Middleton, who amongst many other good things, is one of the co-founders of Do Lectures.

We are all interested in exploring how we can rapidly accelerate the pace of change in sustainability across the UK - taking the practical smarts of commercial innovation, the raw inspiration of The Do Lectures, the online facilitation that Wayne brings and the creative turbo-charged doing that Good for Nothing thrives on to help local communities take on the big challenges themselves, make stuff happen and bring it to life. A bit like this maybe?

A few highlights....

  • over a 100 local schoolkids presenting their ideas to Jane Davidson Welsh Minister for Sustainability. To quote Jane "What you've been doing is the kind of process all politicans should be doing"...

  • the gang of volunteer kids setting up the Project Twenty4 web presence - there and then, and getting it out to all their friends

  • local business and community leaders developing a handful of very concrete and big impact ideas and actions around food waste, local food resilience, community energy and education

  • an Oxfam inspired fashion upcycling event and fashion show with local fashion/design students breathing new life into old clothes

  • a collection of musicians, artists, poets and sculptors 'writing through the night' to bring the ideas of the day to life (including the photo above, taken at nearly 4am!)

Everything was captured via Wayne (below), and follow-up has already started to take the ideas to the next level....

Lots of great stuff is happening in the West - it's becoming our little bird's spiritual home and there's definitely a great opportunity to collaboratively Do more Good for Nothing.

Watch this space!

Some of the issues being explored by businesses....

And some of the amazing things Tata are doing to lead in sustainable innovation....

More warblings