💡– Ideas Lab 1.0

Update from the first Alt.Camden ideas workshop

Last Saturday (9th Feb 2019) we ran our first Alt.Cmd Ideas Lab at the Camden Collective. The purpose of the event was to give people the time, space and expertise to flesh out and develop ideas that are too often talked about but not often enough executed. To do this we invited a small, motivated group of people who we thought would help get the ball rolling.

There was 28 of us in the room, and we started with 4 themes:

♻️ Alt. Economy — We need to change our current economy. And fast. Our current city is wasteful, polluting and unsustainable. How can we create a more circular, human economy?

📲 Alt. Data — Urban data collection is shaping up to be a privacy and ethical nightmare. How can we update our rights to make sure we have access and control over the predictive future our data contributes to?

🤝 Alt. Governance — Urban regulations are still written down…word…by…word. How can we redesign them to be adaptive and intelligent, and to re-balance power and decision making in our neighbourhoods?

💸 Alt. Finance — Funding local (and genuinely exciting) projects is a challenge. What would it mean to test new financial tools and tech to create long-term and inclusive ways to generate funding?

We spent 7 hours together. We debated the themes, looked at inspirations and developed an initial 33 ideas. We had ideas from an equivalent to S106 for data analytics, to a shared investment account for the whole neighbourhood. We then iterated them further, fine tuning them, scrapping some, merging others, making them better and stronger. We presented and critiqued every idea until we felt they were robust enough to be taken forward. When we came to the end of the day we were all exhausted, but the conversations that started continued.

Generating the ideas is just the start. The hard part is finding ways to put them into practice and test them in the real world. This is why Alt.Cmd exists — to provide a testbed for ideas which will help us re-shape our institutions, processes and regulations, and make them fit for the 21st century.

Over the past week we’ve taken the ideas from the lab, iterating them further and developing some new ones. Every one one of them could form the first building blocks of a better society 🚀. BUT we’re going to need some help in taking them forward from here. Over the next couple of weeks we’re going to write up everything so they ready to go (alternatively if you’re having trouble sleeping here’s the raw info).

Once we’ve got everything down, the full list will be published on the website and you’ll be able to help us prioritise where we should focus our collective energy.

If you want to get involved or feel passionately about helping us experiment around the ideas above, or are working on your own initiative — get in touch or find us on twitter.