Spent an interesting day at Curve, Leicester speaking to the Amplified Leicester (@AmplifiedLeic #ampleic) crowd via an invite from Sue Thomas @suethomas.

Amplified Leicester - 02

The aim of their project is to:

Amplified Leicester is a city-wide experiment designed to grow the innovation capacity of Leicester by networking key connectors across the city’s disparate and diverse communities in an incentivised participatory project enabled by social media. Our objectives are to:

  • Develop a transferable model for amplifying a diverse city’s grassroots innovation capacity through connecting diverse communities through key individuals
  • Provide practical examples of how collaborative technologies can be exploited in a city context

They were keen to get an insight into how Arup approach thinking about the future so I introduced Arup, our approach to foresight, innovation and research, and the Drivers of Change research. The presentation is on slideshare.

[Thinking like a futurist](http://www.slideshare.net/djdunc/thinking-like-a-futurist "Thinking like a futurist")
View more [presentations](http://www.slideshare.net/) from [djdunc](http://www.slideshare.net/djdunc).

At the end of the session I asked each participant to try and list out some of the drivers which they think will affect Leicester / their lives. Copies of the cards are on flickr with some highlights below:

  • homes designed for 2.3 kids
  • is there enough work for everyone
  • reduced public – funding doing more with less
  • breakdown / change in “the family”
  • constant quest for growth
  • combining cultures and cohesion
  • data security
  • less professionalism
  • credit crunch
  • aviation and the extended Leicester family

As a note to self, had a couple of interesting chats over cakes on how the cards / research tools had been used in schools and the community. Quite a few teachers have asked about using the cards in schools – might be an idea to set up a schools group on the ning site to share how schools have been using the cards – would be great if others could share how they have / would like to use the cards with kids at different ages. Sharon was thinking of using them in a school project linking a Leicester school to one in India… On the latter re community there was an interesting discussion about how “tag cloud” like tools could be used to canvass opinion from the local community in addition to the traditional community meetings by the Police.

Was a pleasent surprise to be speaking the excellent Curve Theatre in Leicester (an Arup job with architect Rafael Vinoly). I had read about the “inside out” theme but was impressed with how well it had been done. The 32 tonne acoustic shutters around the stage were raised when I was there meaning that you really could see all the inner workings of the theatre. Excellent. More photos are on flickr.