social innovation camp

#20 The Start Up Designer

I got to know Anna through Social Innovation Camp. This was where the idea for was born and since then I've followed Anna through her journey of Bethnal Green Ventures, studying an MBA and launching Poetica.  I'm thrilled Anna is coming to talk to our Experience Design students as part of their Business Strategy project. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt over the last year?

Be comfortable with what you don’t know. I’ve learnt a great deal about both the process of building software and the current state of web technologies, but I am the only non-engineer working on Poetica ( I couldn’t write the code that powers what we’re building myself; but I understand how it works and I can explain the technology to anyone who asks. I am a generalist and pragmatist: I like knowing a little bit about a lot of things and I enjoy learning as much as I need to achieve something or find useful connections between things. It’s liberating to work with talented people who do jobs you can’t: it forces you to completely trust your co-workers and helps you focus on your own role within a team. It also teaches you to ask good questions and to be unafraid of admitting you don’t know something. Being comfortable with the unknown is also important for creating anything new: everything is unknown; it’s your job to discover it.

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What’s your burning question of the moment?

What to prioritise next. The hardest thing about building a new company/product/service is deciding what the one most important thing you should be working on right now is. That’s true of both of what you as an individual within a team should be doing and making decisions about what the team as a whole should focus on. That’s always the most burning question. Your time and resources are finite; your options for what to spend those on can feel infinite. There’s noone telling you the answer. Finding ways of prioritising product features, prioritising which users you talk/listen to, prioritising business development opportunities - that's consistently our biggest challenge.

What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve seen/ heard/ read in the last year?

A software developer called Kate Heddleston has been writing a fantastic blog ( about working culture in the technology industry. We talk about the lack of women being a ‘problem’ in science and technology. Heddleston argues that the lack of diversity is actually the canary in the coal mine; it’s not the problem itself. The problem is the working culture that we’re creating that makes not only women and others unwelcome, but hinders innovation and productivity for everyone in organisations. Her writing is thoroughly researched - grounded in academic studies, not reckonings - and offers practical ideas for improving that culture, making it the most helpful, optimistic writing I’ve read about some of the challenges this industry faces. We need to put as much effort into designing our companies as we do into designing our products and services: without the former, the latter will eventually fail.

You can read more profiles here...

 #19 The Human Centered Designer

#16 The UX Designer

#15 The Data Designer

#14 The Experience Designer

#13 The Design Teacher

#12 The Creative Technologist

#11 The Creative Generalist

#10 The Hyper Island Designer

#9 The Conscious Designer

#8 The Business Designer

#7 The Networked Designer

#6 The Speculative Designer

#5 The Digital Maker

#4 The Craftsman

#3 The Storyteller

#2 The Dreaming Maker 

#1 The Go-Getter.

this happened

Picture 26 Mypolice are presenting at This Happened tonight. It is taking place in The Wee Red bar in Edinburgh.

( rather apt considering the whole @redjotter thing :)

Hoping to meet new people and share our work and ideas. Fingers crossed we will get to put some faces to some tweeters.

This is the first official Mypolice presentation since Social Innovation Camp.  We will talk for ten minutes about the service and the story behind it. As Sarah says:

"I think it’s very important to share your process with people as you work on projects, it’s never easy and other people can learn alot from how you got from nothing to finished product.  You can also learn alot yourself, and importantly, gain feedback from people if you’re opening up your process as you go.  There are always peaks and troughs, and mypolice has certainly had both with more to come I’m sure."

If you are there be sure to say hello :) if not follow the goings on at the @mypolice twitter account.

p.s Follow This Happened on twitter too...

p.p.s very exciting post regarding mypolice and myfuture coming soon ...

Social Innovation Camp is coming to Scotland

The Social Innovation Camp is coming to Scotland! The Social Innovation Camp is an experiment in using social technology for social change. door

"From Friday 19th to Sunday 21st June 2009 at the Saltire Centre in Glasgow, we’ll be attempting our usual trick and bringing together some of the best of the UK’s software developers and designers, together with those at the sharp end of social change. They’ll have just 48 hours to build some web-based solutions to a set of social problems - from back-of-the-envelope idea to working prototype, complete with software.

But first off, we start with a call for ideas: we want to find the most exciting ideas for how the web could change stuff that really matters. You can enter your idea when our call opens on the 30th March. And remember you don’t need to be based in Scotland to get involved.

We’ve got a new part of our website dedicated to Social Innovation Camp Scotland where you can read all about how it’s going to work over here."

I am going to be in Berlin working with T-labs over those dates! Disappointed! Still very exciting this will be going on so close to home :)

Social Innovation

[youtube=] Check out this video...(via Andy Gibson) it made me smile. I often think about the amount of time I spend on my laptop: blogging, reading, skyping, emailing, flickring... although I try and maintain a balance it still frustrates me sometimes. On the other hand the people I meet on-line, connections I make and projects I discover are is a tricky one! Reading Charles Leadbeater's We Think really opened my mind to this reality and the positive effect it can have.

Anyway, lots of the good stuff happening here; The Social Innovation Camp