Social Innovation in the Future City

Dominik Byrne, Edson Burton, Mena Fombo, Jenny Foster, Becca Rose Glowacki, Euella Jackson, Sado Jirde, Janine Marriott, Annie Menter, Rissa Mohabir, Georgina Perry, Terri Rotchell, Dave Taylor-Matthews and Simon Tepper

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In October 2018, Bristol City Council hosted the Global Parliament of Mayors Summit. The British Council was an international partner of the summit, contributing research around the role of the creative and social economy in shaping the cities of the future. It subsequently selected Bristol to trial a social innovation small grants programme as part of Festival of the Future City. The programme’s focus is on building international links and sharing innovation in cities that develops new ideas and practices to tackle social problems or better meet social needs. The grant holders all became fellows of the festival and will talk about their experiences and what they have planned in this invitation-only event with British Council staff: Martin Hope, Head of Society; Kathy McArdle, Director England & Cities; and Paula Woodman, Head of Social Enterprise.

The grant holders:

Edson Burton will travel to Chicago, visiting the Dorchester Projects (established by Theaster Gates), connecting with the Afrofuturist community, meeting the curator of the newly-established Blues Museum and meeting some of the leading names in the Black tech community.

Dominik Byrne is the Project Director at Bristol Link with Beira. He will travel to Beira and engage in post-cyclone activities there, learning about the Municipal Local Authority’s rebuilding plan, strengthening the partnership between Bristol and Beira, and building toolkits to help the network support the city of Beira in the long term.

Mena Fombo (Founder and Director of Black Girl Convention) will attend the AfroTech2019 Conference in California. She will gain new insights into the opportunities for growth for Black Girl Convention, and develop new networks and partnerships for women, exploring the possibilities of international exchanges Black Girl Convention members and the potential for a virtual conference.

Jenny Foster (Project Lead of the Global Coals Center) and Caroline Pitt (steering group member) will visit the Cool Planet Experience in Ireland, experience the tour and meet with key members of the management team. Their learnings will clarify their ideas around what they can offer in the new Sustainable Development Goals Hub in Bristol, and they hope to build a relationship with the Experience to enable future collaboration for both parties.

Becca Rose Glowacki will be travelling to Berlin to take part in the Making Futures symposium, a two-week workshop where participants are invited to discuss ideas around future perspectives for learning and educational spaces and practices.

Euella Jackson (Engagement Producer at Rising Arts Agency) will go to New York to connect and learn from artists and organisations that are interrogating the relationship between art, activism and technology.

Sado Jirde (Director, Black South West Network) and Angelique Retief (Research Associate, BSWN, and PhD student at the University of Bristol) will attend the Social Enterprise World Forum a forum for international exchange and collaboration in social entrepreneurship and social investment, held this year in Addis Ababa. They will explore new partnerships and share ideas and practices with Black South West Network’s international counterparts.

Janine Marriott (Public Engagement Manager, Arnos Vale Cemetery) will attend the AGM of the Association of Significant Cemeteries of Europe, the theme of which is ‘Heritage Cemeteries in the Twenty-First Century.

Afrika Eye, an annual festival of film arts and culture in Bristol and the South West, is linked to Dakar through a young film makers’ exchange with the Image et Vie film festival. Annie Menter, director of Afrika Eye, will travel to Dakar to develop further work between the two festivals.

Rissa Mohabir aims to pioneer an online Trauma Awareness training programme to meet the needs of those providing refugee/trauma-related services in the UK, and to pilot an international version by forging a partnership and collaborative project with Youth Activity Organisation in Sulaymaniyah, Northern Iraq.

Hartcliffe Health Environment Group (represented by Georgina Perry) want to partner with an urban growing project that can help them embrace new innovation in the approach to food and horticulture production and community action. They will visit and meet with Prinzessinnengarten, an urban farming project in Berlin, developing a partnership and bringing back options and ideas that they can develop further into programme activity in BS13.

Terri Rotchell (Nightingale Valley Practice) will attend the European Forum Primary Care conference in Paris, the theme of which is Primary Care and Local Communities: Health Equity for Everyone, Everywhere. Knowledge of projects that have improved the quality of life for communities and improved neighbourhoods will be brought back to Bristol to be disseminated to the GP community through pathways such as the Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Dave Taylor-Matthews (Festival Producer of Encounters) will attend Hamburg Kurzfilmfestival, meeting the team behind the festival, sampling their programmes (including A Wall is a Screen) and gathering the views of the audiences. He will explore the possibility of an international collaboration between Bristol and Hamburg around A Wall is a Screen.

Simon Tepper is a director of BLINC, Bristol’s twinning association with Nicaragua. He will travel to Puerto Morazán, one of Bristol’s twin cities, to meet key stakeholders and partners, to consolidate Bristol’s relationship with the city, and to explore the potential for eco-tours, assessing the infrastructure and facilities and collating relevant data needed for future funding bids for the planned eco-friendly tourism projects.

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