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13Feb
Week 2: Discovery
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Written by student Rory.

Edventure 10 has come back together for week two, bundled up against the frosty morning air, but brimming with energy and ideas from the events of our first week.

We have now had the chance to settle as a group, learned about the history of the project and the parties involved so far, hosted an event in which we talked to interested members of the community, and ended the week by looking inwards on our personal goals for the course.

Now was the time to further our discovery into the possibilities and parameters for our challenge. Maxine (our facilitator for this week) started our morning check-in with some dancing and stretching to loosen us up, ready for the next steps. 

After that, we learnt more about the accreditation of the course, and then moved on to design thinking.

This is a process has a lot to it (the full workbook is 80 pages long!), so we watched a brilliant 80s American news segment about a group who were showcasing the design thinking process by developing a shopping trolley. It was led by a guy who looks a bit like Ned Flanders from The Simpsons and sounds a bit like Kermit the frog from The Muppets, and through this session we learned the importance of:

  • Having a diverse group of people with different experiences and methods.
  • Brainstorming ideas quickly and getting them written down, without initial judgement of those ideas.
  • Having a facilitator to keep the creative chaos in check by time-keeping, giving gentle reminders to keep on track, and to ensure everyone gets an equal chance to present.
  • When doing research, talk first to people who might be ‘experts’ on the area you’re working on.

One key phrase I took away from this was “Fail often to succeed sooner”.

To use this process ourselves, we brainstormed ideas that came out of the soup event and our existing knowledge of the project. We split our thoughts by evaluating what we know and what we don’t know, in order for us to clearly see what research would be needed. What parameters are we already constrained by? What are some of the riskiest assumptions we might make?

In preparation for a research presentation at the end of the week, we had a big discussion about these key ‘don’t know’ points and people who wanted to contact, all linked to the three main sections of our brief, which we used to split out into sub-teams:

  1. Design and Build
  2. Business Development and Sales
  3. Social Model

We then went on a little field trip to go and visit the first prototype Edspace. It was a really valuable experience; we got to see the space close-up, ask about how it’s been to use, what issues they’ve had, what’s worked well, what would they change. We collected this useful information and headed back, once again energised by the real world application of this work.

On Thursday, each of our sub-groups delivered a short presentation and it was really interesting to see everyone’s findings and different presentation styles.

  • Social Model
    This group presented their findings on a whiteboard, each writing a different sub-section. Hettie talked about the interesting and varied details of planning regulations, as well as the potential opportunities to connect with other organisations such as community land trusts and homeshares. Adam discussed his findings regarding different types of tiny house communities, including one that houses homeless people, and elaborated on the benefits that these communities have experienced. Maxine revealed more details on the investment goals of Edspace and what relevant funding there is out there that Edspace may be able to use, as well as surprising many of us with the potential personal finance options for individuals buying tiny spaces!
  • Business Development and Sales
    Tom and Lawrence created a mind-map on the computer, which went out into five paths:
      1. Current business financials and business development goals
      2. SWOT analysis of Edspace (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats)
      3. Identifying customer markets
      4. Researching our potential competitors
      5. Branding methods
  • Design and Build
    This group (which I was in) did a powerpoint presentation in order to show large visuals and images that we referred to as we spoke. Niki presented first where we drew inspiration when thinking about the design, in particular the interiors, from narrowboats, container homes, and other tiny homes, and then went on to show what interior design concepts were most applicable to our project, and how we might do so. I (Rory) explained our parameters and xplained what I learned from speaking in depth to the craftsman who currently makes our Edspaces, in order to find out about the offcuts we want to use in the interior design, about the materials being used and the pros and cons of those, as well as the construction methods and the plans to streamline the process and how that would help.

We ended the week by discussing how that all went and touching on the idea of feedback culture, to ensure we continue to learn and grow in a supportive environment. Onwards and upwards! Next week we unleash more ideas!

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01Feb
Edventure 10 begins: A week in polaroids
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Welcome to the Edventure 10 team.

Edventure’s 10th Start – Up course began last week and a team of 8 students have begun a 10 week project to develop Edspace, a community enterprise building flat pack tiny houses.

The team is made of of 18 – 35 year olds who have experience in areas including film making, advertising, business, photography, the charity sector, economics, facilitation and community organising.

Please follow the teams progress over the coming weeks here and get in touch if you want to find out more or get involved with the project: [email protected]

Below is a polaroid pinboard documenting week 1 of the course created  by Students Niki and Tom.

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25Jan
What the Edventure 9 team achieved in 9 weeks
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Written by Student Ben Goody.

The end of our project came so quickly. This week we finalised each of the parts to make a complete whole, as well as planned and smoothly executed an event at which we fed, presented and partied with all our supporters.

This event was special to us because it represented the culmination of 10 weeks of hard work and it was a first chance to show the community what the future of the SHARE shop will look like and to receive their feedback.

However, we realise that not all of those who wish to support SHARE and Edventure could make it to the event. So, for those of you who missed it, here are our major achievements and the changes that you can expect to see in the new and improved, local, library of things:

  • A new layout and revamped appearance

After tireless hours and a couple of late nights ( one with cider and chips), we finally finished redesigning the layout of the shop.

Upstairs now has new storage units and as a result it is more spacious and easy to find things. The work bench for fixing workshops is also upstairs, giving more room for storage downstairs and more space to work upstairs.

In the shop, there is a new desk area, new storage areas – a ‘garden shed’ area and a pallet wall – as well as a more clear window display, so that the many people walking past and looking in the window get a clearer idea of what the shop does.

  • A new referral scheme to help those with financial difficulties in the local community

We knew that SHARE has a lot to offer people, and that this was especially true for people in financial difficulties. One of our main missions became to build upon community partnerships to organise a referral scheme so that we could offer use of the SHARE shop for free – with no barriers for those who need it.

SHARE can give people access to things that they can’t afford, save people money, as well as making ‘sharing and borrowing’ the new ‘buying and throwing away’.

Making SHARE available to everyone will also create greater social inclusivity – a win-win scenario for our current members and the Frome community.

If you would like to support us in this mission, please visit our crowdfunding campaign.

  • A crowdfunding campaign

The crowdfunding campaign that we set up for SHARE was the cause of a lot of frustration and stress – making its completion a great achievement.

We wrote and rewrote the story, trying to convey the message in a way that demonstrated how much we cared about this cause and that was presented in such a way that meant the Frome community would support it, too.

We had a lot of fun building the video and spent hours filming interviews, scenic shots of Frome, and a ‘party’ dance scene. Editing came next – around two days of staring at a computer screen intensely.

And all that effort is paying off as our total money raised towards free memberships for those in need is slowly climbing! Even if it doesn’t reach its target, the campaign design was a great learning journey that we can draw upon in the future.

  • A volunteering scheme to complement our current volunteers

We knew that some aspects of running a successful project like the SHARE shop take a lot of time and effort. It’s not just about managing the day-to-day operations of the shop, but is a whole host of other things like marketing, social media, events and workshops, and more.

To free up Helen, Aliss, and the current volunteer team’s time to focus on running the shop, we have introduced a volunteer scheme for specific roles such as building a community around SHARE on social media, running repair and rehoming sessions, and doing research for the development of the shop.

We knew that this could be another win-win scenario because it could provide someone with valuable experience as well as help boost the social impact of SHARE.

  • A series of posters to spread our story

People want to hear more about SHARE! That was the feedback we got – a regular reminder of what items we have and to ‘borrow, not buy.’

We started to drive an ongoing campaign to reach the Frome community and expand our community through a collection of ‘sharing’ themed posters. The majority of the shop owners in Frome agreed to put them somewhere in their shops, and a few put them up more permanently in their window – an incredible response.

Check out some of our posters below and in Frome shops:

We have also printed these on quality poster paper and are offering them as part of our rewards for donating to the crowdfunding campaign.

  • A new website

The SHARE website needed a refresh and redesign. After 3 years it had become cluttered and hard to use for visitors and our team.

After one long weekend of staring at the computer, it was finished. We gave it a completely new design, with a new layout, new images, and new writing.

One thing that we noticed was that many of SHARE’s members had no idea that there was an inventory of all our items online. Although it is an easy to use way of checking if an item is reserved or in-stock, nobody was using it or knew it was there. One change that we knew needed to be made was to make it an easier and clearer route from the website homepage to our inventory.

If you are looking for more information on memberships, the history of SHARE, how you can get involved in our community, or want to check out what we’ve got, then please visit the site!

Conclusion…

What an epic journey it has been, and it all coming together quickly in one week. We started with a little knowledge and ended with a lot, and not only that, we helped move forward a movement for social good. We have helped towards the continued success of the first library of things in the UK and made a close support group of friends for the future in the process.

Here’s what each of the Edventure student team is taking away from the past 10 weeks:

Manda – “I will take away a greater confidence in my role in a group”.

Jasmine – “I learned that it is crucial to take the time to reflect, as a reflection deepens the learnings and our understanding of ourselves

Matt – “One of the most valuable things I have learned from doing a course at Edventure is the importance of putting yourself in roles outside of your comfort zone – of feeling the fear and doing it anyway, and surprising oneself at how capable they are at doing something they want to do, but may lack confidence in.”

Ruby – “Confidence in choosing correct solutions to set up my own business alongside a charity based shop.”

Ben – “I learned how to work successfully in a team and how important it is to have a supportive and encouraging team. Developing communication, group decision-making, and leadership skills has been invaluable.”

Finally…

Thank you to all our supporters and network that have helped us towards completing the project.

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05Jan
Jazzy Jasmine tells the story of week 7 on the Start – Up course
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The story of week 7 on the ‘Developing SHARE’ Start-UP course

Jazzy Jasmine from Vietnam visited edventure for 6 weeks and worked with the student team to develop the Frome Share shop.

Jasmine is on a year long fellowship program visiting enterprise education initiatives across the world and hopes to set up something similar to edventure in Vietnam one day.

Follow Jasmines journey via her video blog

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12Dec
Gain a Professional Qualification at Edventure
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Edventure has recently partnered with UWE and is now offering students on the 10 week ‘Start – Up’ course the opportunity to gain a level 3 ILM (International leadership management) qualification in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship.

Applications are open till the 18th of December for January’s Start-Up course where students will get the opportunity to gain this widely recognised qualification whilst working on a project to tackle the housing crisis.

The education system, both University and school, works well for some young people and not for others, but even people who have thrived within the education system often leave without feeling clear or confident about their future.

People aged 18 – 35, with or without any qualifications are welcome to apply for the Start-Up course and will be given the chance to gain a qualification, equivalent to an A level, that is highly regarded by employers. It shows the ability to put enterprise theory into practice.

Edventure provides opportunities for developing practical skills, business skills, community engagement skills and the confidence to make ideas happen by offering students a real life experience of setting up or developing an enterprise to tackle local issues.

Due to high rent prices and low paid employment, many young people in Frome and across the UK cannot envisage getting a mortgage or saving for a house deposit.

This January, a student team will spend 10 weeks developing ‘Edspace’ – a social enterprise building flat pack tiny houses intended for use primarily as affordable living spaces for young adults.

The team will design and make a tiny house interior, develop a business model for providing affordable housing to young people and set up a campaign for raising awareness and promoting the use of Edspace tinyhouses as one viable solution to the housing crisis.

Applications are open till the 18th of January for the next Start-Up course which begins 22nd January and ends 29th of March.

To find out more and to get involved in the project please email: [email protected]

Click here to apply now 

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12Dec
A glimpse into the Start – Up course week 6, photos taken by student Ruby
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18Oct
Week 5 – Developing Share
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Edventure ‐ Week 5 

Written by student Valentine from Switzerland. 

This week has been a big step for the team since we’re starting to bring our main ideas to reality. As Manda explained already when she documented last week, we split our team into two groups:

  • Team RUMABE: Ruby, Matt and Ben
  • Team TRIANGLE: Rosa, Manda and Valentine

The RuMaBe team is taking care of different projects such as marketing, crowd funding or redesigning the website and the shop. While we, team triangle, are organising a clear out for SHARE to get rid of the items that are barely or never borrowed. We’re also trying to develop a new volunteer program in order to get more people involved. Finally we are looking for new possibilities to make SHARE more accessible to people who could need it.

So having a lot to do for the next few weeks we started week 5 by checking the timelines that we had been drawing and our Gantt chart in order to make sure everything was covered and would be done on time.

Team triangle Gantt chart

Since this week was about splitting into two different teams I can only document what the team triangle has been working on. So in order to make sure all the great projects we trying to achieve are acknowledged, Matt has kindly agreed to write a bit about the RuMaBe team (see on page 4).

Rosa, Manda and me spent Monday afternoon starting the volunteer’s and outreach’s research by making phone calls and creating questionnaires. One questionnaire was intended for actual volunteers and the other one was about asking customers if they would like to see more high value items in the shop.

On Tuesday morning we had a meeting with Johannes and the RuMaBe team for a session about how to make a business plan. It was particularly interesting because to understand how a social lean canvas works we tried it out with some of our main projects like creating a volunteer program or getting some high value items for the shop.

The social lean canvas

We learned how a social lean canvas differs from a classic lean canvas by having a purpose and an impact. This tool is really helpful to make sure you’re solving an actual problem and that it matches with your purpose and the impact you want to have. Moreover you can look at your value proposition and check if it’s the best one to appeal to your customer segments.

Link to Edventures lean canvas tool

For a concrete example using our own project: the new volunteer program.

The purpose of our project is to distribute SHARE’s workload more effectively as the shop’s managers have barely enough time to run the shop. The lack of time is our main problem. Then our customer segments would be the staff and our impact would be to give them more time by getting more volunteers involved.

Then for the end of the week, basically Wednesday and Thursday, the team Triangle started to organise the clearing out. As we were going to move a lot of items, we needed a plan. We decided to go through the data and to find out which items were never or barely borrowed. Then using this list we put a sticker on those items in order to let SHARE’s staff to give their veto or their thoughts. Afterwards we started clearing out! Depending on the items and on their aspect they were sent to the recycling centre, to charity’s shops or kept for a future big jumble sale.

Rosa and Manda working hard!

It was quite a difficult process since there are so many items in the shop and it was sometimes difficult to find the ones we were looking for! But eventually we manage to make some space in the shop in order to organise a more effective storage.

Week 5 for Team RuMaBe by Matt

The fifth week got off to a quick start for “RuMaBe”, otherwise known as Ruby, Matt (me) and Ben. With Ben absent on Monday, Ruby and myself focused on doing crowdfunding research online, as well as creating a team timetable for the week in order to give us some structure with regards to the numerous tasks we had to get done.

With Ben back in at Edventure on Tuesday morning, we began the day with a business planning session with Johannes. Following that, we continued with the crowdfunding research from the previous day, and Ruby gave us a short presentation of what she had learned about LocalGiving from a talk she had attended with some of the other groups team members.

Wednesday morning’s focus for Ben and myself was solely on storytelling for the crowdfunding page. Primarily, we needed to brainstorm all the different categories we would need to cover before we could each begin writing for the different sections. It was a time-­‐consuming process, but one that was vital for us to detail in creating a solid and structured foundation to work from. After lunch, we decided to switch things up a bit by watching a video interview on YouTube related to crowdfunding in Frome.

On Thursday, we focused further on storytelling, made a to do list, and came up with ideas for rewards for the crowdfunding page. In the afternoon, we had a reflections session as a group to express how the week had been for each of us.

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03Oct
Idea refining and role dividing – Student Manda talks about week 4 of the Start – Up course
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02Oct
Edventure: Week 3 Blog
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Written and photographed by student – Matthew Anderson

Monday 18th September

Our third week of the ‘Start Up’ course got off to a quick start on Monday morning with a ‘Power Dynamics’ workshop, in which we were set a task by Amelia to individually come up with ideas and designs for a building space in Frome. We began this task by individually coming up with our own ideas for what this project space could potentially be used for. Following this, we each shared our own ideas with the group, all of which were unique, but some with similar themes. The next stage was refining the ideas and themes down into one main category, that eventually being a project space used as a communal place for artists to meet, to work on their own individual projects, and also potentially collaborate. We decided that it could also be a place in which musical equipment could be donated and stored, and with the private, individual rooms upstairs to host film editing workshops, and music production/band practice or recording sessions.

Towards the end of our brainstorming session, this week’s team leader of the group, Valentine, presented this collaboration of our ideas. The main aim of this task Amelia set for us was to bring awareness to how we engage with one another as a team in terms of social influence and leadership.

The afternoon of Monday, following a delicious lunchtime soup made for the team by Ben, involved further brainstorming, this time however, with the week’s challenge brief in mind, which was to communicate our ideas for making Frome’s SHARE shop financially sustainable in a presentation we would be giving on Thursday afternoon to the shop’s managers and our course Start-Up lead facilitator, Johannes. We began sharing and brainstorming our insights related to what we found from the research data we had collected from the previous week. For example, one common insight we had was that the shop’s storage system needs rethinking, due to the current excess of items in storage.

Tuesday 19th September

Tuesday morning began with a talk given to the team by business expert and former investment banker, Gavin Eddy, in which he shared some very useful business advice with us in regards to our team’s aim of making SHARE financially sustainable…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Around lunchtime, two members of our team, Ben and Ruby, took part in an interview on Frome FM to talk about our team’s mission to financially empower SHARE as a community enterprise…

The afternoon’s main activity back at Edventure was, with some of the insights we had previously brainstormed in mind, to come up with ideas and potential solutions of how we could address some of SHARE’s current challenges. In doing this, we also had certain criteria in mind, including “Viability/practicality in time frame”, “Workload on SHARE team”, “Likelihood of increased financial returns”, and “Likelihood of making a difference in the community”…

Wednesday 20th September

Since Wednesday was our main day to organise and prepare material for the group presentation the following day, it’s fair to say that we were bracing ourselves for what we knew was going to be a long, mentally intense day. Not only did we have to formulate five key questions from our insights, but also to develop and add to our existing ideas we had for each insight/question. Initially, we decided to start by organising our insights into five main categories – “Message”, “Membership”, “Systems”, “Items & Appearance”, and “Atmosphere”…

Following this, we used another board to come up with questions for our insights, along with a ‘quick wins’ section, which included certain insights that were common in our research we did the previous week, and concerning issues that needed addressing, i.e. the fact that, generally speaking, people don’t value ‘free stuff’ as much as that which has a financial value attached to it.

Soon after, we had come up with our first question – “How might we make people who love the concept of SHARE use it?”

 

 

 

 

By the end of the day, and with some of us staying on for an hour extra, we had finally come up with and organised a series of five insights, questions and ideas for Thursday’s presentation. Though many of us were quite exhausted with information overload by that point, we were satisfied with what we had achieved for the day, and knew that we would be going into Thursday morning on a good footing in preparation for the afternoon’s presentation.

Thursday 21st September

We had most of the morning on Thursday to prepare for the afternoon’s 1pm presentation at the SHARE shop, and in the three hours or so we had to prepare, we spent much of the time sorting through each insight, question and idea, and trying to decide on what the best way would be for us to present…

Thursday afternoon’s main focus was on our group presentation, given to the SHARE shop managers and our course lead/facilitator, Johannes. Our group manager/facilitator for the week, Valentine (left), along with Miranda (top centre), began the presentation introducing the team’s main aim for the week, and that we would be presenting some ideas we had come up with.

Following this introduction, each of us individually spoke on the different areas/categories we had each volunteered to talk about, and overall we presented some very good ideas for potential development. Feedback from both managers and Johannes was received at the end of the presentation, and the expansion of certain ideas will be a focus point for next week. Considering the limited time we had to prepare, we gave a strong presentation of ideas and potential solutions to some of SHARE’s current challenges.

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20Sep
Developing SHARE – Week 2 ‘Discovery’
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A very in depth description of week 2 on the  Start – Up course written by Ben, one of the student team.

“Overall​ ​it​ ​was​ ​a​ ​very​ ​busy​ ​week.​ ​We​ ​learned​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​and​ ​had​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​fun!”

This story describes workshops in customer Empathy Mapping, Design Thinking, Transactional analysis – a personal development model and the process of doing market research, compiling data and presenting the information to the SHARE shop.

Click here: Blog Post Edventure – Week 2 

 

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