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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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12Sep
The new Start – Up team plans to give Frome’s Share Shop a boost
Updates

A new team of 18 – 35 year old Start – Up students have arrived at Edventure to take part in a 10 week challenge – To give the Frome Share Shop a boost and help develop the two year old business into something something that is financially sustainable long term.

Members of the team come from Frome, elsewhere in the UK and one has come from Switzerland. They have experience in activitism, marketing, business, music, art, international relations and community organising.

This team is particularly interested in the  community element of this Share – Shop challenge and want to work closely with the existing shop staff, the volunteer team, the existing users and other local people to help Share to find good ways to move forwards.

38 degrees interviewing Manda, one of the students.

Over the next 8 weeks the team will be doing research, running community consultations, working with the Share shop in a practical way and launching a crowd funding campaign.

If you would like to support the project, get involved or take part in Share Shop market research please email the team: [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SHARE: Frome
12Sep
We are recruiting a trustee for SHARE – a library of things & our Community Fridge.
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SHARE – a library of things  and the Community Fridge are Edventure’s sharing initiatives that we run in partnership with Frome Town Council. They have steadily grown and reached a level where a dedicated director is needed who can support the team. The director will manage the SHARE staff and will join the Edventure Board to drive the strategic development of Edventure’s sharing initiatives.  As with a trustee in a charity, this director position at Edventure Frome Community Interest Company is voluntary. Please click below to find out more:

Job Spec SHARE Director 2017

 

Application process

Expression of interest – in September

Please get in touch by emailing Johannes Moeller ([email protected]) with a short introduction, CV and some suggested dates for an informal meeting.

Informal Meeting – in October

We will arrange an informal meeting to give you the opportunity to find out more about our ‘sharing’ initiatives, and for us to learn more about your background and interest in this position.

Formal interview – in October / November

We will conduct a formal interview late in October or early November.

 

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28Aug
Edventure launches new business planning tool for community enterprises
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A business planning tool for community start-ups and businesses that we adapted from the Lean Canvas and Social Lean Canvas, originally developed for our students at Edventure. The Community Enterprise Canvas asks you a few simple questions to start planning and communicating your community-focused business.

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08May
Remakery Festival – celebrating upcycling and repair
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Edventure students have been working on launching a Remakery in Frome – a shared workshop for fixers, doers and makers that can be used by individuals and groups or for classes. The space will be launched with a festival celebrating upcycling and repair: a series of free workshops, events and a launch party of course.

All events are taking place at the Remakery, which is part of the Welsh Mill Hub.

View all events on Facebook

Remakery Launch Party – May 27th

An afternoon of celebrations to launch the Remakery Frome, including an exhibition, presentation, food, music and open forum to talk about the future of the Remakery.

12.00 Arrive and drink coffee

12:30 Presentation by the Edventure students who created the Remakery.

13.00 A delicious community lunch for a small donation.

14:00 World Cafe Forum to discuss our throwaway culture, potential solutions for a greener future, and to come up with ideas for the future of the Remakery. For the kids, a Makeshift musical instrument making workshop.

16.00 Food & Live music, Open workshop session at the Remakery. Until 6pm.

A project in partnership with Edventure Frome, The Men’s Shed, SHARE – a libary of things, funded by Awards for All.

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08May
Bringing ideas to Life; Edventure Week 5
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Taking action and making decisions in week 5 of Edventure Frome’s Start-Up Repair Course written by student blogger Abigail (Abi’s blog)

Getting to work

Equipped with skills we have learnt in the first half of the course, this week we divided into smaller teams and dedicated our time to specific areas. Our roles included; branding and business concept, festival and communications, workshop and planning.

 The Workshop

Harry and Josh made steps towards transforming the workshop into a multi–use space. This involved getting to know the potential and limitations of the physical area and researching what equipment might be needed.
Thomas came to help out and surprised us by bringing us each a candleholder he had made from petrified wood. The candleholders looked great and their simple design made them easy to produce. This inspired me to think of the potential of our project. It would be amazing to see the space being used to make items such as these as way of teaching basic woodwork skills.candles

The Festival

Louis and Allen put their minds to visualising the Repair Festival which is due to launch our project in the last week of May. They led a brainstorming session with the group to find out what we would like to see at the event and reflected on our user research. They also began compiling a list of local people who might be interested in being involved with the set up or running of the festival. If this interests you please get in touch!

 The Business Concept and branding

I worked with Van on defining the direction of our project and came up with some initial brand names. We would love to hear your opinion on our shortlist – please leave a comment below.

Social Media

Andy Britnell, founder of Seeamanaboutblog came to talk to us about how social media can be used as a tool to grow public interest. We learnt about the various forms of social media from Facebook to GooglePlus and how we can use them to communicate with our target audience. Andy talked through ways of keeping professional and adding value, credibility and visibility to our project online.

Something to take away…

Andy’s check list for successful social media.

  • Content

What information do you want to share with your followers?

  • Platforms

Which platforms are you going to target? Which platforms are most popular with your target audience?

  • Target Market

Who is interested in your project? Who will your ideas affect?

  • Influencers and thought leaders

Who is already working in your area of expertise? What strategies do they use.

  • Supporters 

Who might support your project? Try to get yourself featured in blogs and magazines focused on your area of interest.

  • Media Type

Which form of media will most appeal to your target audience; text, image or video? or all three.

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08May
Future Thinking, Edventure Week 4
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A time for reflection and planning in Week 4 of Edventure Frome’s Start-Up Repair Course. Written by student blogger Abigail (Check out her ethical fashion blog)

Making Space

The week began by clearing the workshop with Thomas. We used the time to organise materials and visualise how the space could look. Our aim is to create a workshop suitable for multiple uses with features for woodwork, crafts and textiles.

 

A Library of Things

On Wednesday we met with Aliss and Helen from The Share Shop to discuss how our projects can support each other. The Share Shop already runs many interesting events around fixing including regular Saturday morning repair sessions. Find out more here.

Charting a Course 

Johannes helped us to form clearer intentions for the remaining weeks using the GROW model. GROW stands for Goal, Reality, Options and Will and is a simple structuring method. By breaking down our task into these four categories we were able identify the necessary next steps and formed a plan of action. We defined our individual roles and began dividing responsibility.

Finding Answers in Nature

We took a day out of the office on Thursday to explore our surroundings with Jez and Amelia.

Jez encouraged us to appreciate the visible signs of the
Spring as we walked while Amelia foraged for interesting plants for us to try. Together we lit a fire and thought about the things we wanted to move on from as we progressedthrough the course. We ate a feast of toasted bread and wild garlic that we found in abundance along the way.

Thinking Funding

 On Friday Edventure hosted a talk on Crowdfunding by Andrew Denham; Head Teacher at the Bicycle Academy. Andrew shared his experience of using crowdfunding to raise £40,000 in order to turn the Bicycle Academy into a reality. He kindly explained the basics to us and advised us on the necessary steps to take. Reward based Crowdfunding is a method of raising money for a project through multiple contributions. Usually an entrepreneur or business will post a project they need help funding with a target amount and set deadline for raising the funds. Interested backers are then offered rewards based on the size of their donation as incentive for investment.

Something to Take Away…

 Andrew’s top tips for successful crowdfunding;

  • Tell a compelling story; involve your prospective customer.
  • Do the legwork before you launch; get your message out there, use social media.
  • Hit the ground running; make sure you have built up enough interest in plenty of time.
  • Know your customer, target your publicity to the right people.
  • Be prepared for hard work; make sure you have time to fully engage with the process – before and after.
  • Be open and honest; What can you realistically achieve.
  • Be realistic; make sure you can follow through on rewards.

Van’s poem of the week;

Week started slowly we uncluttered the abundance of all things unneeded,

inspiration still unmet,

what is it we work towards,

finalising our places in focusing on the time to come festival and fun after solid working strong,

walking long in wilderness inlooking and expressive,

an experience of overwhelming freedom let loose all stress and pain even if only for a few irreplaceable moments,

contemplative pictures painted do we understand who we are,

real world comes a calling.

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27Apr
Putting Plans into Action, Edventure Week 3
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Business strategy and user research in Week 3 of Edventure Frome’s Start-Up Repair Course. Advertisements, Making money and making a difference

Written by Student blogger Abigail with contributions from poet Van Wajsblum.

We began the week with business planning. Johannes and Adam introduced us to three different social enterprise models;

External: When business and social activities are separate. The business may or may not be related to the social enterprise.

Integrated: When a business is created as a funding mechanism to expand and enhance a social mission.

Embedded: When a business and social programme are one and the same, i.e. the business was created for a social purpose.

Johannes also presented ‘The Ladder of Social Engagement’, a way of visualising the interest of your target audience.

Van perfectly summed up the first thought-filled day with the following poem;

Monday

Sunshine beams goals we dream

Tantalizing future visions

Fixing ourselves, through expressive creation

Conversations and well informed talking

Form restless and sleepsome minds

Seeking the clarity of whatever we can achieve

Potential

Harmonious, Contemplative, Potential.

By Van Wajsblum

Meeting with Gavin Eddy

Gavin is a local entrepreneur who has launched many successful businesses including Forward Space (a series of creative ‘workhubs’ for entrepreneurs) and the Frome Independent Market. We met him on Tuesday to discuss ideas at Forward Space, Frome. It was great to get feedback from someone with such a wealth of local experience and ‘Start-Up’ expertise. He advised us to clearly define our target audience and to consider ways of maintaining interest in our project long-term.

Speaking with Ugo Vallauri

Ugo is the co-founder of The Restart Project, a London-based social enterprise that encourages and empowers people to use their electronics for longer in order to reduce waste. Ugo kindly agreed to discuss the Restart model and our project ambitions with me over the phone. He explained how ‘Restart Parties’ (community based, free electronic repair sessions) reduce the barriers to learning and help people recognise the value in repair. During the conversation he gave me many insights into running successful repair events. He also mentioned the importance of recreating trustworthy relationships with existing repair providers. Read more about Restart’s research on the matter here.

Talking to the public

Throughout the week we developed a questionnaire to ascertain what kind of repair service people would most benefit from. You can read our full questionnaire here and if you are from the local area please take a moment to fill it out. Your input is much appreciated!

Presenting pitch 2

Informed by the week’s findings we presented a preliminary business plan to the Edventure team on Thursday.

Our mission is to launch a socially inclusive workshop space together with an online platform/mobile app focusing on ethical repair. By empowering people through creative skill-shares, we hope to strengthen social bonds, increase practical skills and reduce the amount of perfectly reusable household waste.

Guided by the initial response to our questionnaire we aim to concentrate on 3 avenues;

Regular affordable, themed fixing sessions.
Weekly, reasonably priced workshop-based classes.
An online directory to connect professional and amateur fixers, makers and doers.
Something to take away…

A poem from Van written on Tuesday when it was his turn to make lunch for us all.

The Sushi Situation

Best laid plans mislead big dreams

Unexpected time frames

Not bad for a first try

Saved by an angel and enjoyed by All

Earlier formation of pitch perfect questions

An air of arrival at what we can be

Morning information from a man

With proven know how

Big ideas on a small scale

We must know who they are

The providers, users and sustainers

Of our world

Cater, nurture and help them succeed.

By Van Wajsblum

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11Apr
‘How might we…?’ Generating ideas in the second week of Edventure Frome’s Start-Up Course.
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Written by Abigail – Student Blogger (Abi’s Lost Threads – ethical fashion blog)

What makes a good question?

The week began with a communications workshop led by Amelia and Judy Barber (Author of the book – ‘Good Question’). We learnt how to use an open questioning method to quickly develop ideas. By asking ‘clean’ questions, which focus on the person you are talking to Amelia and Judy demonstrated how we can enable others to see their goals more clearly, simply by reflecting their ideas back to them.

3 day design challenge:

Start an enterprise which…

  • Works with the theme of repair and repurposing
  • Utilises the workshop space at the Welsh Mill Hub
  • Generates revenue and helps to grow a repairing economy in Frome

We began by considering the problems related to repair and then asked the question ‘how might we…?’ address them.
On the second day we began to visualise the workshop with expert carpenter Thomas who helped us define our ideas by asking the questions;

  • Why do we need it?
  • What is it’s purpose?
  • Who is going to use it?

After a final session with Dominic (fellow Hub user and owner of a Tech Start-Up) on user stories we were ready to present.

Our Vision

On the third day we presented our initial vision for the project to a team of local entrepreneurs.

To create an open and accessible workspace and online network which enables skill sharing, engages the community and fosters an ethic of creative repair.

The presentation went well (Josh even managed to fix our flip chart during the pitch!) and we received valuable feedback to work on next week.

Who holds the power?

The week ended with a session on group dynamics led by Lauren and Joana (past Edventure participants). The day began with a team challenge, which we then analysed together. Lauren and Joana encouraged us to think about how engaged we felt, how much we contributed and whether we felt we had power and influence within the group. This brought up a lot of interesting questions that allowed us to be more honest with each other. Louis summed up the feeling of the day by reminding us…

We all hold the influence and power when we feel empowered as individuals. 

Something to take away…

Our six tools for developing ideas;

  • Start with the problem
  • Find Experts
  • Be open to creative chaos
  • Fail Often
  • Stick to time restraints
  • Have Fun!

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