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I asked a blogpost ago how groups developing ideas in workshops can build momentum for their ideas and make them sustainable after the excitement of the event.

The best evidence I've seen so far is the mapping carried out on the Big Green Challenge. What was striking from the findings was the need to 
"uncover what support these communities need to transform their bright ideas into viable solutions...and work through strong relationships and existing networks"
What might this mean in practice though?
Uncover what support these communities need to transform their bright ideas into viable solutions

It can be tempting to pre-define what package of support should be offered to groups. However, without knowing in advance what ideas or even prototypes they will develop or who will be part of these groups, this approach can be counterproductive. It also means participants are less likely to feel collective ownership over the process of taking forward the prototypes.

On the other hand, not providing any options for further support would make it harder for the prototypes to be developed further and the relationship between ourselves and the groups would be confused.

Would a combination of support for peer networking and signposting to structured support from other appropriate organisations be enough?

Work through strong relationships and existing networks

The Big Green Challenge research suggests signposting the groups to organisations related to their challenge area who the event organisers have a strong relationship with could work - especially with community embedded intermediaries some more institutionalised (such as community action networks) and others more self organised (i.e. meetups). It also recommends encouraging groups to make use of their own relationships to take forward their prototypes.

So, which of the following does it make the most use to showcase the prototypes to?
  • Self organising groups to work out if their meetups can provide a space for continuing the conversation around how to take forward the prototypes.
  • Corporate boards to showcase a new way of getting people’s ideas and making the best use of their skills to suggest new approaches to developing digital services
  • Economic and technology boards to showcase the prototypes to
  • Investors to showcase ways of taking ideas which become investment-ready
  • Pre-commercial procurement initiatives

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