IAM x Red Bull Basement: Rethinking ‘Social Innovation’ to Make Better Futures for Cities and Communities

We are partnering with Red Bull to shape and launch ‘Red Bull Basement’ in Spain, an ambitious platform created to connect and empower the next generation of makers using tech to tackle social challenges in cities.

Photo: Red Bull Basement Hatch — Barcelona at IAAC. Credit: © MARC ROSES — Red Bull

For the last 5 months we have been working with Red Bull and the other key partners in Madrid (IED Innovation Lab) and Barcelona (IAAC — Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia) to shape the first year of Red Bull Basement in Spain, one of the first countries where this global platform is activated after a successful pilot in Brazil.

About Red Bull Basement

Red Bull Basement is a global platform, an in-residence program, a network of communities, a space for sharing, learning and experimenting. Essentially a hub to make things happen. An alternative to the traditional ‘social innovation’ projects and incubators dealing with the social challenges by using technologies with critical, open, playful and creative mindsets.

It is more than just another ‘incubator’ or residence program, and that is why IAM decided to join as partner of this initiative. Red Bull is seriously committed to make things happen. And that is why the city halls of Barcelona and Madrid are also joining to exchange learnings and look for ways to support the projects and experiments coming out of the programs.

Watch the video here

The platform has three main programs this first year: the Hatches, which already took place in Madrid and Barcelona last April, the Residency, which will take place between July and August in Madrid and the Festival which will be celebrated next September.

During the Hatches we had the chance to meet, learn and collaborate with a fascinating group of mentors, students, designers, artists, creatives, strategists in an intensive, insightful and fun creative jam experience designed around the futures of cities. The teams had the challenge of creating concepts and visual prototypes of projects, products and services for the districts of Carabanchel (Madrid) and Poblenou (Barcelona). The day started with the teams having conversations with neighbours, from senior citizens and kids to immigrants and traditional shop owners, where many assumptions were challenged. After 10 hours of collective reflection, ideation and creation each team presented their proposals, which included data-driven public installations, social-driven currency for local shops and biophotovoltaic buildings.

Photo: Red Bull Basement Hatch — Madrid at IED Innovation Lab. Credit: © GIANFRANCO TRIPODO — Red Bull

The Hatch experience was just a small test of what is coming this summer with the first Red Bull Basement Residency program, where 5 projects will have the opportunity to connect with likeminded changemakers, generate creative solutions, and develop thriving pilots, all while pushing the boundaries of socially driven technology.

The Open Call for the Residency is open until Friday, May 25th and we are looking for projects in different stages (from ideas to working pilots) that are using technologies to address an open framework of social challenges, including topics as digital democracy, health and wellbeing, climate change, migration and integration, urban mobility and tech literacy.

Check out the project website and stay tuned to our channels for more updates on this creative partnership and our ongoing research on the post-technological futures of cities 🔮