In order to grow as people, you need to go outside of your comfort zone. And it is fair to say that for most of the last week we have been doing that.
Much of the week was taken up with organising Transport Planning Camp. With it being 6 weeks away, you can sometimes forget quite how many minor jobs there are to do, and quite how long these little jobs take to do. Its not all booking veues and powerpoint presentations you know.
This week was more about promotion. Hence why in the newsletter you may have seen plenty of promotion of the event. Much of this has been about posting on social media, and getting the event on websites (thank you, Transport Planning Society!). And telling people about the event in person.
But we didn't just organise events. We attended them too. On Wednesday, we were fortunate to present the progress made on our Policy Diagnosis Tool Discovery Project, including our paper, to the Smart Transport Conference in Birmingham. You can view our slides online, and we wanted to say thank you for all of the great feedback on the presentation.
Overall it was a fun event, but we left feeling a little disappointed. Our stream was on Universal Mobility, and without wishing to sound our own trumpet, we were the only people to speak about...people. The other presentations by Connected Places Catapult, Heathrow Airport, and Zenzic were interesting, but they only mentioned the need for a universal mobility in passing. Are we really not considering the needs of people that much?
We refuse to believe that. But it is worrying.
We got our fix of citizen engagement the very next day, at the Nesta Government Innovation Summit. Our favourite part of the whole conference, which including amazing presentations, was the workshop sessions. In particular, we played a game in which the aim was to develop the social infrastructure of a town (think libraries, cafes, pubs etc.) through collaborating and supporting the delivery of projects.
It was a fun game to play, if very, very complicated. In the 1 hour session, it took us 45 minutes to suss out the game rules and play properly. It was creative, and got us thinking about the value that this social infrastructure plays to different people. But it was complicated to play. I suppose that the more simple you make the game, the easier it is to pick up, but the less reflection that results from it.
There are so many people we would like to thank for an inspiring day. Geoff Mulgan, Immandeep Kaur, Alex Stephany, and Simon Parker come to mind. What an amazing day, and so much to think about. It is going to take us a week or two to process it.