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Collaborating to do social good (and a cuppa tea too)
by Alastair Cameron
When we heard of What's Brewin, the monthly meet up in London that involves collaborative chat over a cuppa tea, Startacus thought it best to make a pot, take ten minutes out and ask the What's Brewin team a few questions to find out more...
What's Brewin is the brainchild of Make:Good a Design Studio based in London. With Startacus' own collaboration platform nearly ready to unleash itself on the World, we spoke to Catherine Greig, Owner of the Business, to find out more about their businesses and how they involve collaboration to make and do social good.
So because I found out about What's Brewin indirectly via Make:Good, I've now got slightly confused...Make:Good is a Design Studio, so are you are social enterprise type design studio or do you focus on social good type projects? Explain all!
make:good is a design studio which focus on projects that have a social value. All of our projects involve us spending time in a space, meeting and engaging with people who live, work & play around the area and trying to understand what positive change would mean for those communities. Change means different things in different places and to different people so our engagement process means that sometimes we are designing parks & playgrounds, sometimes we are supporting new enterprise and sometimes we developing campaigns to support behaviour change. It is really varied and exciting!
We love the idea of What's Brewin, but can you explain to the Startacus readers, what exactly What's Brewin is?
What's brewin' is the space where we think about the issues that bubble up through the projects we work on & we think resonate with other creative practitioners working in the field of participation & engagement. We do, of course, think outside of this one hour a month! but it is really useful to have a structured time to bring other people in, share ideas about practice and get some insight because we don't want to end up just doing the same old stuff over & over again. We started by inviting a couple of people each and then those people pass their invite on to somebody they think would be interested so we get to meet more & more interesting and innovative folk.
The idea of passing the tea bag on at the end is great - but can you go back for a second meetup, or is your tenure up, when you pass the tea bag on?
We probably shouldn't say this but rules are made to be broken right? Some people come back because they are really interested in the next topic and want to keep involved in the dialogue. We also get some people who just find out about us and want to come along & that's OK as well!
Collaboration is key to Startacus and on the What's Brewin page you say that collaboration is going to help build the world we want to live in. Why?
Collaboration is so important because we don't live isolated lives or access isolated services so people need to work together in all senses. Our work is all about communities of people rather that a client of just one individual so we see the communities we work with as collaborators as well as the organisations we partner with & people whose skills we bring in on particular projects. Nobody does this stuff alone and for us a project isn't a success if a group we have been working with don't feel like they did it with us or, even better, think we just helped them out but really it was their project.
Cheers Catherine for your time and we hope to meet up at What's Brewin for a cup of tea sometime!