New GeoVation challenges to launch soon
One-planet living in the current economic climate means “doing more with less, and doing it sustainably” at work, home, at play and in our neighbourhoods. With that in mind we are currently working with a number of other organisations to develop and launch our next two GeoVation challenges, which we are really excited about. We shall be launching these early in the new year so watch this space and @Geovation for further news.
We recently held a GeoVation PowWow event for one of the new challenges at the Royal Geographical Society, London. GeoVation PowWow’s are workshops that unpack meaty problems / unmet needs around a particular challenge by bringing together a unique mix of participants. These problems are then synthesised into themes and supported with insights providing great opportunities to innovate. GeoVators responding to a particular challenge will have access to the PowWow output to help ensure that the ideas they are posting address a real, identified problems / unmet needs.
PowWow participants kindly joined us from Barking and Dagenham Council, Business in the Community, Cabinet Office, Design Council, Kent County Council, NESTA, Nonon, Ordnance Survey, Social Reporter, University of the Arts, and UnLtd.
GeoVate with Mission:Explore
Catch up with Mission:Explore with this update from Daniel Raven-Ellison:
12 days ago we released our new Mission:Explore website, since then we have watched as young and old(er) explorers have accepted, completed and then reported a wide range of missions. People have been photographing where the ‘wild’ is taking over from civilization, designing memorials and earning rewards for doing so. One explorer (Sir Spiffington) has already created his own website which includes a great animation and a funny film, all inspired by the new site.
Making the Mission:Explore website is a continual process. The funding that we won 5 months ago through GeoVation from Ideas in Transit and the Technology Strategy Board has allowed us to implement a number of significant features. These include:
- Partner accounts which let other organisations create their own challenges;
- Scoring and leaderboards, which will soon also include groups;
- An extras box on mission pages which includes QR codes that can be scanned for quick access to the relevant page along with a widget which can sit on other websites;
- Explorer profile pages so that users can keep track of started and completed missions, their points and keep an explorer log;
- A content management system for creating, risk checking, tagging, scoring and publishing missions;
- A split community with those not logged in and aged 12 or under not being able to see user generated content and missions which are rated for older users.
National Geographic Education are already using the site for their work in promoting geography awareness week. I presented on Mission:Explore for teachers supporting National Geographic in Portland in August and you can see the videos from this here . Love Forest, OPAL, Priory School, the Geographical Association and many others are currently live on Mission:Explore or soon will be.
The core of the GeoVation work is to see how Mission:Explore can be used to increase the number of family leisure users on the National Cycle Network. Crucially, we want them to come back too. We are working with Sustrans not only to create the challenges but also to monitor user numbers in the field. An additional component is a the work we are doing within the project for the dairy company Arla. Arla want to bring a wide range of children Closer to Nature and we are bringing all of this together by using Mission:Explore and the National Cycle Network to draw young people out of sub-urban areas an into ‘nature spaces’. Our first trial will take place in Berkshire next month and we will be using our findings from this work to decide our following steps.
Last week we were lucky enough to be invited by the Technology Strategy Board to have a stand at Innovate ’11, the innovation networking event and exhibition. This is an example of the one of the unexpected benefits of working with GeoVation that has been a great help to our work. Innovate ’11 is was an awesome event and one that I would recommend you attend in the future if you are interested in cutting-edge innovation and creativity. At Innovate much of the interest in Mission:Explore was for rebranding it so that organisations or regions could have their own bespoke versions.
We are now at a stage where we are looking for GeoVators to GeoVate with us. We have a limited number of free accounts on Mission:Explore which can be used by charities and public sector organisations to create games, hunts, trails, learning activities and more. If you or someone you know would be interested in this offer they should email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
We will be blogging again next month with an update on our work to increase users of the National Cycle Network.
You can become an explorer on Mission:Explore for free by visiting www.missionexplore.net.
It’s National Organic Month
Did you know that September is the Organic Industry’s month to celebrate and promote all things organic. The Soil Association are promoting this initiative with details all the different ways you can get involved, from visiting festivals to learning new skills.
One of the main problems from the workshop was how to understand and promote local food sources and how mapping can help. I have found an OS OpenSpace app that demonstrates exactly how mapping can help to promote locally sourced food. This application features food sources around Sussex and is currently in the testing status, but allows you to add your own local food sources for the area.
And if you are in London looking to grow some of your own organic fair, then take a look at https://www.allotmentsite.co.uk, which shows locations of allotments in and around London.