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Connecting communities online, offline and everything in-between...

facilitated by Crystal Campbell + Diogo Terroso

Saturday, March 5, 2011 from 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM (GMT)

Connecting communities online, offline and everything...

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Full Participant (Talks & Mini-Workshop)
This ticket includes access to the full day, including participation in the mini-workshop, and a goodie-bag featuring the full selection* of NearLab tools, valued at £150.
Ended £70.00 £2.40
Talks Participant (does not include access to the mini-workshop)
This ticket includes access to the full day of talks and presentations, and a goodie-bag featuring a partial selection of NearLab tools, valued at £50. This does not include participation in the mini-workshop.
Ended £45.00 £1.77
Concession Participant   more info Ended £60.00 £2.15

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Event Details

Nearlab invites you to a one-day event that runs in the format of a mini-workshop with a selection of talks by a diverse range of creative practitioners who work in the field of social innovation, architecture and participation and interaction design.

The event is a sampling session of talks by a variety of speakers working in the field of community engagement, social enterprise work, service design and interaction design as well as a hands-on introduction to a collection of "thinking by doing" tools developed by Nearlab in the format of a mini-workshop.

The event is a response to the changing design landscape that we are part of:

Communities everywhere are seriously considering the value of practicing an interactive approach to the design and development of their urban environments, using “we-think thinking” from the Internet in the participation, sharing and collaboration of ideas and information, but is technology able to live up to its promise?

The intention of the day is to explore the burgeoning relationship between technology and community building. We have brought together a series of speakers who work in a variety of creative fields who are all passionate about people, technology and good ideas.

The result: a stimulating day that offers you an opportunity to sample ideas and views on the opportunities and challenges we face in our working life.

The event will investigate creative projects that foster sharing and interaction between different groups of people, the role of designers, planners and politicians in creating them, and the impact of current social, technological and political trends on them with a focus on place making in the built environment, service design or social entrepreneurship.

The mini-workshop platform is a “learning together by doing structure to utilise the combined intelligence of the participating group, facilitated by the professional team at NearLabs and supported by NearInteraction.

Typical “learning together by doing” practices include facilitated brainstorms, curated problem solving exercises, experience-based-learning, case methods and physical prototyping sessions aided by a collection of tools especially created to stimulate creative thought.

Four Keynote Guest Speakers: Charlie Tims (Demos), Heather Ring (Urban Orchard), Steve McAdam (Fluid and Soundings) and Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, (RIG, designswarm, and former CEO of TINKER LONDON)

Charlie Tims is a researcher and an associate of the Think Tank Demos interested in democracy, technology and creativity and is a co-author of People Make Places. He is currently working on an alternative learning programme which accompanies the 2012 Olympic games with A New Direction. There is a full list of his publications here.

Heather Ring is a landscape architect. She runs The Wayward Plant Registry and the London Bridge Physic Garden. Her recent projects include the Union Street Urban Orchard and the The East London Sukkah.

Steve McAdam (Fluid and Soundings) is an architect with extensive experience in urban regeneration, masterplanning and participatory design, leading major urban regeneration projects in both the public and private sectors across the UK. He will be discussing how in the UK the new Localism Bill will allow a multi-disciplinary and participatory approach to urban design in the communities that surround us, and in particular how it could address the challenge of disappearing social systems, questioning the value of technology to encourage participation.

Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino (RIG, designswarm and former CEO of TINKER LONDON) is an active conference speaker focused on service design, interaction design and how design is evolving out of it's current state into a de-centralised model of empowerment and DIY problem-solving with the help of new technologies. She will discuss the participation potential enabled by conscious design of interactive technology.

A selection of invited participants have been asked to do a short 10 minute presentation on their work throughout the day.

Invited Participants: Tim Davis (Director of Practical Participation), Tal Oron (Creative Technologist), Bruno Taylor (Service and Social design in the Public and Third sector and Director of Common Ground), Daniel Hirschmann (Artist and Educator), Bethany Koby (Designer, Artist and Entrepreneur), Janet Dowling (Storyteller, Writer and Folk Animateur), Lauren Currie (Redjotter, Snook), Tom Wynne-Morgan (Service Futures, Engine), Ilona Gaynor (Speculative Design and Design Interactions, Royal College of Art), Caf Fean (Soundings), Daniel Foster-Smith (Technology Design and Behaviour), Vahakn Matossian (Interaction Design and Public Space) and Claire Healy and Eva Xie (final year MA Creative Practice for Narrative Environments students from Central Saint Martins)

Workshop Facilitators: Crystal Campbell (Narrative Ecology and NearInteraction) and Nina Honiball (MAKEshift and Soundings)

Design Thinking Tools:
Nearlab is best know for their development of a variety of sets of design thinking tools that can be used by practitioners to spark of an rich idea generation and design process. The tools are developed by a variety of collaborators in the field, and draw on the use of narrative, scenario planning, participation and interaction design, created to operate on the principles that encourage creativity and collective ownership, allowing the users the ability to be intuitive, recognise patterns and explore the full potential of their projects. At each event NearLab provides the participants with a selection of these sets of tools.

List of tools
1. StoryTelling cards and worksheets
2. Narrative Ecology Persona cards and worksheets
3. Interactions™ Technology cards
4. GoodParticipation flash-cards
5. ThinkingDesign worksheets

Participants go home with a selection of these thinking tools, as well as the ability to purchase complete copies directly from NearLab at 40% of the retail price.

In addition to this, each participant will recieve a digital compiled work outlining the challenges and potential solutions documenting the IP generated at the workshop. This document is co-owned by NearLab and those participating for future use.

A book will be self-published encompassing the complete series of the 2011 Decoding Participation, Engagement and Interaction with Technology Series workshop results due in April 2011, and available for purchase directly from NearLab at cost price for past attendees.

What you get out of the day:
1. A rich selection of speakers, insights and new ideas.
2. A selection of design thinking tools developed by Nearlab.
3. The opportunity to collaborate with like-minded people and produce a creative solution together.

Participants are able to combine their new learnt information with their diverse knowledges to produce new insights and plans for action, to inform the needs of their individual organizations, institutions, products, and services.

Outline Program:
The workshop is structured around the StoryTelling cards and runs from 10.30am sharp to 5.30pm with an hour lunch break in-between.

Understand the setting
Guest speakers Charlie Tims & Heather Ring on the past, present and future of the Urban Orchard.

Find your Hero
Introduction to Narrative Ecology Persona cards and worksheets by Crystal Campbell

10 Minutes presented by Bruno Taylor (Service and Social design in the Public and Third sector and Director of Common Ground)

Your Call to Action
Guest speaker
Steve McAdam

A Gift from your Mentor
Guest speaker
Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino on the value of interaction design

 - Lunch break -

Find your challenge mini-workshop:
A 2 hour mini-workshop facilitated by Crystal Campbell and Nina Honiball creating a "learning together by doing" space for interested participants with exposure to the potential and practical structure of the StoryTelling cards to facilitate the ability to be intuitive, recognise patterns and explore the full potential of your projects.

Participants will receive a selection of the sets of tools and worksheets developed on behalf of Nearlabs for the day. Participants will work in curated multi-disciplinary groups of 5, and will be asked to create a solution to a set challenge using a real life case study.

During the course of the mini-workshop:

10 Minutes presented by Ilona Gaynor (Speculative Design and Design Interactions, RCA)

10 Minutes presented by Vahakn Matossian (Interaction Design and Public Space)

10 Minutes presented by Crystal Campbell on the Interactions™ Technology cards, and how to use them in the mini-workshop

10 Minutes presented by Tom Wynne-Morgan (Service Futures) with a speculative scenario towards understanding the impact of emerging technologies on our interactions with experiences, objects and each other in our everyday (future) lives

Overcome your obstacles
10 Minutes
presented by Crystal Campbell on design thinking and analysis, using the ThinkingDesign worksheets

10 Minutes presented by Tal Oron (Creative Technologist) on product manager best practice in relation to design oriented projects

The end…Telling your story back
10 Minutes
presented by Caf Fean on narrative, story-writing, and story-telling, and a reflection on the StoryTelling cards.

10 Minutes presented by Daniel Hirschmann and Bethany Koby on setting up their new venture, Technology Will Save Us

Making your project happen
Introduction to GoodParticipation cards by Nina Honiball

 - Event wind-down over drinks -

The workshop audience is typically a multi-disciplinary mix, including: community workers, entrepreneurs, service designers, social entrepreneurs, social innovators, project managers at community centers, participation producers, public arts programmers, public engagement consultants, product developers, and those with positions that include market/customer insights, research and development, strategy and innovation.

"I honestly think that the ideas we can up with could not have been produced by a conventional method.  I think that the process led to some real originality - reaching bits of the mind that other methods cannot reach. Fascinating stuff as I suspected - but having experienced it I am now sold!"

"The story-telling approach to exploring solutions was great. Your model pushed us to get into the detail of our characters and places and really brought out the creative side of our group. The depth of the characterisation helped us understand the situation. The creative thinking around the narrative opened us up to more creative solutions for the product."

"The story-telling enabled people from different professional backgrounds to develop a shared language, moving beyond our professional boundaries and exclusive language. Consider yourselves to have designed a really successful model. I'm certainly going to use it again to explore a few projects I'm working on."

Participants should importantly bring ideas! as well as a notebook, favourite pens or pencils. Everything else will be provided. Please note, laptops will be frowned upon! this is a hands-on workshop with people to people networking and participation.

We want you thinking, talking and connecting!


Mini-workshop has limited seating of participants to ensure an intimate atmosphere. Due to a high nature of enquiries and interested participants, tickets sell out fast, so we have 3 waiting seats available if there is a cancellation.

The Decoding Participation, Engagement and Interaction with Technology workshop series form a 3 part succession of related yet independent sessions taking place during February 2011.

Registration to each workshop must be made separately. Discounts are available for booking 2 or 3 workshops at one time, please select the relevant price option and directly re-register on the relevant 2nd or 3rd workshop pages selecting the PAID-A, B or C option.


Have questions about Connecting communities online, offline and everything in-between...? Contact facilitated by Crystal Campbell + Diogo Terroso

When & Where

Soundings Office
148 Curtain Road
EC2A 3AT London
United Kingdom

Saturday, March 5, 2011 from 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM (GMT)

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facilitated by Crystal Campbell + Diogo Terroso

Crystal Campbell and Diogo Terroso facilitate workshops for the conception of future products and services. By utilising the combined intelligence of the participating group and 'learning together by doing' practices, including a hybrid mismatch of facilitated brainstorms, curated problem solving exercises, experience-based-learning, storytelling, case methods and physical prototyping sessions. The results is the rapid generation of valuable, tangible outcomes available for all participants future use. Expect the unexpected.

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Connecting communities online, offline and everything in-between...
London, United Kingdom Events Class

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