Our first local chapter - Brighton's Summer of Love

Tonight sees the first Brighton social almost five weeks after the first Brighton GFN gig on 23/24 June and I realised that apart from us down here at the seaside, no one else knows much about what happened over our Summer of Love. So here goes...

Being the first chapter out of London, we weren’t really sure what to expect. All the usual questions came up: would people actually come, do we have enough space, are we gonna be able to feed them all, will the cause partners be happy with the outputs, the list could go on. But Friday evening rolled on and everything fell into place. We held it at an amazing venue, The Lighthouse, right in the heart of Brighton’s North Laines. We started with a small but awesome bunch of folk and began, as a gig always does, with the causes briefing us: where they had come from, where they are now, where they want to get to, I’m pretty sure world domination managed to slip in there as well!

Our cause partners for the weekend were: Hisbe, a community interest company who want to shine a light on the food industry and needed help visualizing their first ethical supermarket. Then came PricePie, a tool to show and support transparent pricing on all goods and services. And finally, Gig Buddies, matching up music lovers with and without disabilities who enjoy the same types of music for nights out. Here are the original briefs and event info.

None of our Good for Nothing’ers had been to a GFN before and only about 20% of them had ever been to a hack day so there really was an element of the unknown. However, excited by the briefs and energized by the delicious and rather powerful Aspall cyder we were drinking our evening ended on a high and full of anticipation about what the next 48 hours would bring.

And wow what a weekend. Our three teams worked hard and fast and the outcomes were brilliant. We had a great crew from those who gave over their whole weekend, to a Coder who had two hours on Sunday morning to spare and not forgetting the Interior Designer who walked past on Saturday afternoon popped in to see what was going on (we were eating Lick frozen yogurt & the beats were pumping out into the sunshine) and ended up staying for the rest of the weekend!

We had some awesome DJ’s playing us through, many thanks to Danny Williams & Will Sumsuch. Local and national companies got behind us to be our Food & Drink partners keeping our fuel tanks on full! We couldn’t have done it without them; Breakfast - The Real Patisserie & The RedRoaster Coffee House Lunch - Bagel Man & Higgidy Pies Snacks – The Co Op (Church Road Brighton Store) The Hotel Chocolat (Brighton Store) & Lick Frozen Yogurt Evening drinks - Aspall Cyder

And the causes were thrilled with the outcomes… (in their own words!)

Team HiSbe created a floor plan of the retail space, drawn to scale, including sketches and design ideas for pods, several technical drawings of different design features, research on potential building materials / suppliers and  summary of technology that could be used to enhance experience in-store. They also produced a first stage  stakeholder analysis and communication plan.

Team PricePie developed a kick-arse software programme custom built that will enable them to upload their data to screens in supermarkets, clients' websites, clients' packaging etc. Remotely. Unbelievable! They also produced a new, sexy looking pie chart that will be the same structure from client to client, which links in with the new software program as well as an animated video with music that explains and sells PricePie to new businesses.

Team Gig Buddies set up Twitter and Facebook profiles including a social media content plan, made a short promo interview for the website, came up with branding ideas, and thinking about their identity & strapline, came up with a story behind Gig Buddies, developed a supporters and promoters pack and wrote a press release and launch event plan.

And we, Mark, Rodrigo & myself (Zoe), were in shock & awe at the immense awesomeness of everyone. Their energy, ideas & enthusiasm. So much so that we can’t wait for the next one and have already started hatching a plan! More of that to come soon, but if you know anyone who would like to get involved get in touch.

So that leaves us here, looking forward to seeing everyone again, excited to hear what the causes have been up to and plotting for the future.

Peace, Love & Respect x

Zoë Olivia John

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