Festivals create ‘unique opportunity’ for innovators

August 4, 2010 at 1:18 pm 2 comments

By John Craig

At our Festival of Ideas at the end of June, the Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd, talked about making a reality of the Big Society. That’s exactly what our event did, bringing together voluntary and community sector innovations with the potential to green public services with the investors and commissioners who are searching for them.

This short film  shows brilliantly how Festivals of Ideas work, and what participants think of them.  An innovator advises, “don’t miss it, because… the people you need to see are under one roof.  It’s a unique opportunity”.  An investor says, “other investors should come here for one day because it’s going to save them 2 weeks’ work… definitely an investment worth making”. 

The event certainly does seems to have been a success, with a satisfaction rate of over 75% and most people meeting more than 5 people with whom it would be useful to be in further contact.  In the coming months, we will be following up these connections on behalf of the eight high-potential projects who took part.

More generally, this event is an example of how Innovation Unit works as a broker.  As thinking about the Big Society develops, the notion of ‘social venture intermediaries’ – which Innovation Unit helped to develop – is becoming more significant.  Across our projects, we are working to bring together the resources, ideas and legitimacy to help public service innovation improve people’s lives.


Entry filed under: Green Next Practice, Public Services, Social Innnovation, Third Sector Innovation.

How Not To Capture Learning From big idea to Big Society

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Steve Hill  |  August 8, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    I had the opportunity to attend a Startup Weekend here in Indianapolis and I had a great time networking with many like minded innovators from my area. From the sound of things Festivals of Ideas are very similar events.

  • 2. David Jackson  |  August 23, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Really enjoyed the video – very helpful, both about the issue and the Festival of Ideas methodology. Thanks.


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