Social Innovation Camp! Part Deux


Last month saw the second outing of the high octane, jam packed weekend that is Social Innovation Camp. Having caught the bug back in April 2008, I couldn’t resist going along to see it all kick off on the Friday night. It was great to see so many familiar faces, as well as eager first timers, all chomping at the bit to get going. It definitely took me back to the first time I ever stepped foot in the Young Foundation, feeling excited and nervous, wondering what would people think of my idea

The beginning of the evening was a rather civilised affair, with Dan McQuillan and Paul Miller explaining a bit more about SI Camp and what the weekend would involve. There was even time for Paul and I to have a fireside chat (minus the log fire – much to my disappointment : ) about my experience of the first SI Camp and what EbD has been up to since then. Then it was off to the pub to get on with the very important business of meeting new people, talking about the projects and of course having a laugh or two!

For all of Saturday and Sunday (up until the Show and Tell session), the teams worked solidly building their platform and perfecting their pitches. This time round, I was very much a spectator watching it all pan out from afar, all thanks to Twitter. This made me even more aware of how little time each team had to work on their project and come up with a proof of concept. I have to admit that when you’re completely focused on making your idea a reality and immersed in it all, time seems to stand still.

Fast forward to Sunday’s Show and Tell session, there was a real buzz in the Museum of Childhood, teams putting the finishing touches to their projects, techies testing equipment and the expectant audience murmuring amongst themselves. Sitting happily in the audience, last time round I was racked with nerves, I was in awe of how much each team had managed to achieve in the short time available. The standard of each project and pitch was extremely high, so the judges must have had a pretty tricky task deciding who would take first and second prize. After much deliberation, I’m told it was a very close call, The Good Gym was announced as the winner with Useful Visitors as the runners-up. A very big well done to you all!

The following film (by The People Speak) nicely captures the vision, passion and energy that made the weekend such a success:

Social Innovation Camp II, Dec 2008 from The People Speak on Vimeo.

The lovely thing about Social Innovation Camp is the fact that it’s not all about the winning, the taking part definitely counts too! Everyone worked extremely hard and they all deserve recognition for the fantastic set of techie tools they managed to build (in a weekend!) to meet such a diverse range of social needs. Well done everyone – keep up the good work!