London Launch of beta Toolbox

Place Ladywell – Lewisham 

Friday June 2nd 2017 sees the public launch of the beta version of the Toolbox, which is a resource box people who want to create a new economy out of abandoned spaces. It is being held in the new public space of Place Ladywell opened by the London Borough of Lewisham during the life of the Origin of Spaces project. Featuring a CoWorking Space, a social enterprise cafe (Cafe of Good Hope) and Rushey Green Timebank run by the redoubtable Philippe Grainger, the event at Place Ladywell will allow the public to play with the Toolbox for the first time. We hope it will become a resource to support people and community-based innovation based on the examples of our partners.

Welcome to The Toolbox and intro video

The Five Themes of the toolbox each have a section pulling together a set of resources to help people understand a little more about each of these topics and perhaps giving them fresh ideas of how to become involved in that area… The Themes are Social Enterprise, Participatory Governance, Ecological Transitions, Local Partnerships and Multidisciplinary CoWorking. Watch the intro films first to find what interests you most and help us Build the Society that Pleases You Most

Theme1 London; Social Enterprise

Social Enterprise is the key theme of London, Capture Projects and the London Borough of Lewisham, who think that in a post-Welfare State society we need new enterprises concerned with social good if we are to help design a the future that we wish to live in. Become the change you want to see… More on Social Enterprise

Theme2 Pula; Participatory Governance

Participatory Governance is the key theme of Pula who are based in ROJC, an abandoned Naval Academy,  that has been turned into a hub for the emerging Civil Society in Croatia. It is a huge community centre, with over one hundred groups from the Green Party to Clown school, running innovative activities there. Pula thinks that Participatory Governance is the process whereby we create new democratic practices, especially through NGOs. More on Participatory Governance

Theme3 Bordeaux; Ecological Transitions

Ecological Transitions is the key theme of Bordeaux, the Darwin collective, who have taken an abandoned military barracks and made it a centre for next generation work, play and, because it is France, eating. Bordeaux think that Ecological Transitions is the process whereby we green our work and help make the world a balanced eco-system. More on Ecological Transitions

Theme4 Bilbao; Local Partnerships 

Local Partnerships is the key theme of Bilbao, the ZAWP art collective, who think that when you regenerate old parts of the city, you need to create new local partnerships with the living communities involved so that change and regeneration  is a process about people rather than buildings and grand plans. More on Local Partnerships

Theme5 Lisboa; Multidisciplinary CoWorking

Multidisciplinary CoWorking is the key theme of Lisboa, of LX Factory and especially CoWorkLisboa. They think that in the digital workspaces of the future we don’t just need bandwidth but also social interactions, discussions about new projects and an environment that encourages new ways of thinking… More on Multdisciplinary CoWorking

5 Steps Learning Model of the Toolbox

The Toolbox uses a five-step model for learning – These are the 5 steps for Social Enterprise.

1. What is a Social Enterprise

2. Skills & People you need

3. Legal Stuff to address

4. Getting Funding & planning

5. Case Studies

We love the UNLTD social enterprise toolkit

We have created ISSUU online books for longer resources.

Play with the Origin of Spaces Toolbox

And leave comments too please…


Welcome to Log

Toolbox Development Partners

Welcome; We’d like to wish a warm welcome to log in Lisboa, who have won the contract to build the Origin of Spaces Toolbox. At the moment we are dealing with Tiago Jacob, their Scrum Master. Scrum is an Agile development methodology which we think will be very useful in developing the Toolbox.

WordPress; Because a number of Spacers (#oosEU) have experience with WordPress we decided to go for a WordPress based solution as potentially we could call on expertise with the Origin of Spaces group.

log; Have great expertise in WordPress, Scrum combined with a focus on UX (User Experience). As we aren’t providing support for users of the Toolbox UX could be the critical factor in user takeup of the Toolbox.

More on log; Can be found on their log website or contact them at

Questions; Any questions for log, or about the development process of the Toolbox, can be posted here.


Podcasts for #SocEnt

Getting started in Social Enterprise

The Toolbox; We are building a toolbox to help people who want to be social entrepreneurs. More information on the #oosEU Toolbox here.

Podcasts on Social Enterprise; We are collecting links to useful podcasts on social enterprise, and related topics. We prefer podcasts with a European perspective, but useful American links will be included of course.

Guardian Social Enterprise Podcast; The Guardian Sustainable Business resource has a very useful Social Enterprise blog

Current podcast #13 This is on “Starting Up a Social Enterprise” It lasts for 36 minutes and features the following interviews; 2.20: Andrew Cook – enterprise adviser at Inspire2Enterprise, Teresa Burton – chief executive and co-founder of Buzzbnk and Servane Mouazan – director at Ogunte
13.55: Alex Mitchell founder of Young Brits and Sarah Sharlott – chief executive of Realise Futures
25.00: Dan Lehner – head of ventures at UnLtd

List of Podcasts (so far); 

ImpactQ (new – UK) – Full list of 4 podcasts

Guardian Social Enterprise #13 – Setting up a social enterprise

Guardian Social Enterprise #11 – Co-operatives and Mutuals

Sprout Summit (Australia) – Full list of Podcasts

Entrepreneurial Spark (USA)- list of podcasts for StartUps

Social Entrepreneur Podcast (USA) – on Twitter

We are gathering a list of #socent podcasts;

Please add your podcast in the comments section below – thank you!



Toolbox Planning (Pula)

Agenda / Pula / OOS April 25th – 27th 2016

Monday 25th April (looking back)
08.45 for 09.00 start

09.00 Introduction by Co-ordinating partner (Darwin)
Appoint one person as an observer and timekeeper for the 3 days (could be different person each day)

09.10 Warm up exercise – led by Rojc

09.30 Introduce new team members and participants

09.45 Feedback from UK on the toolbox work and research collected so far, over view of what we have done and what we need to do by the end of the 3 days in Pula.
1. Concrete decisions and next steps for modules / agree common framework
2. Possible decision on the platform
3. Visual artists brief
4. Technical brief (for allocation of platform build budget)
5. Assistantships and staff training dates and content of visits
6. Exceptional costs budget – how do we use this?
7. Everyone knows what they have to do for November 2016 in Lisbon

10.00 Feedback (10 minutes each)
Research teams feedback / led by Danijela (research bees)
Tech teams feed back / led by Nuno
Visual teams feedback / led by Ema or Suse

10.30 – 11.30 Coffee break and ROJC tour

11.30 Meet the Mayor

12.30 Lunch

13.30 5 steps (led by Deb and Ane) 15 minutes
Share the 5 steps common framework and talk through / plus table (2 week deadline)         15 minutes to prepare presentation

14.00 Everyone share their first iteration of their 5 steps module; JUST the Learning Content NOT Visual Content (this could be simply drawn on large paper so we can walk around and look)
*Where are the gaps?? Gap analysis?
*Start to think about
*What visual content do we need?
*Technical aspects
*First Ideas
*How can we visualise the learning content?

5-Steps Model example (Social Enterprise Example fg-5stepsResourcesSocEnt)

15.00 Coffee break

15.30 – 16.15 Ideas for the User Interface (Nuno)
Presenting some ideas of what this might look like and a discussion / Q and A

16.15 Coffee break

16.30 – 17.30 SUB GROUPS (mixed teams)
Ideas generation session on visual content
(45 minutes and 15 minutes feedback) All feedback

17.30 coffee break

Tuesday 26th April (collaborative) 
Big discussion plus sub groups
Arrive 8.45 for 9am start Continue reading

Selection Criteria for Technology Platforms (Fred)

Scoping the choice for #oosEU

Background; I’ve been involved in thinking about choosing in thinking about how to match technology choices to user (and institutional) needs since the 1980s. The big issue at that time was the arrival of the PC, personal computer. Businesses who had previously seen computers as the preserve of computing professionals, who handed out print-outs of information to managers, maybe a day or a week or a month (!) after the information was requested, suddenly found that users (not just computing professionals) could now actually touch the computer, or terminal, or desktop computer (that is why it is called a desktop) and retrieve information for themselves; later on they would be allowed to input information as well.

Metaphors; Microsoft eventually won the war of the metaphors for user-computing and determine that we would use the “desktop” metaphor. The metaphor both simplifies and shuts down choices for the user; if I know how a business desktop works then I also know how M$ Windows works. If you use computers you are interested in “business.” One of the issues we might be interested in #oosEU is what metaphors we are using in developing the Toolbox. Toolbox itself is already a metaphor of course…

Systems Analysis; As there are issues between what technology can do (its affordances) and what users want (the purpose of the system) a key process in the design of technology systems is “systems analysis.” System analysis is about looking at what the user needs Continue reading

5 Levels Learning Model (London)

The Origin of Spaces (OOS) EU project (Erasmus)

Social Enterprise Learning Resource


Overview; This blog post shares the thinking behind the Lewisham 5-Level Social Enterprise learning resource for OOS. Each partner has been encouraged to develop their own 5-Level model, which will be resolved across the project in the next Transnational Meeting in Pula, April 2016. This is our thinking to help clarify some of the terminology and issues.

An interest driven approach We believe that the OOS Toobox is a resource that people will use because they have a specific interest in one or more of the themes of the OOS; Social Enterprise, Multidisciplinary CoWorking, Ecological Transitions, Local Partnerships and Participatory Governance . We anticipate that people will use the toolbox because they want to do things in the real world because they are interested in, or passionate about, that theme. The toolbox is not an education resource encouraging people to say that they know everything about (social enterprise), rather a practical resource for people who want to (create a social enterprise) and wish to learn what that entails; what they will be required to do in order to create a successful social enterprise.

What is the learning narrative? The learning narrative for the toolbox is based on a sequence of, first, inspiring interest in the topic (of social enterprise), secondly scoping what is covered in that topic, thirdly identifying what needs to be known in order to (create a social enterprise), fourthly providing precise details of skills needed to be a (social entrepreneur), fifthly of having enough expertise to share with others or build a community of practice, or collaborative work group and also be capable of providing new resources to the toolbox. If users trust what we have to offer on each theme then this learning narrative will be, arguably, the best way to understand the information being provided. We like UnLtds Social Enterprise Toolkit.

What is the learning design? Whilst the five partner projects are involved with OOS because they bring specific expertise in the five key areas of the project, and so provide much of the resource for the toolbox, we neither have sufficient information about our areas of expertise, nor know how best to provide that information for each and every user. Whilst the structure of the resource will be based on the (5-level) learning narrative we need to design the toolbox so uses can navigate their individual ways through what they are interested in. This can best be described as offering users three choices; to skim the information, address it in depth, or by-pass that information. It is difficult to learn in isolation and so the parts of the toolbox requiring deeper understanding will point to relevant discussion groups, or offer them. The proposed learning design is based on; Structure, Content, Community (see presentation on Learning Design). The Toolbox is only addressing the Structure and Content dimensions so will only point to Community as possibilities for accessing self-managed learning communities.

What are the learning pathways? We intend for the overall design of the toolbox to allow for multiple learning strategies, the user chooses how to use the toolbox for themselves. They may wish to focus on a single theme, such as social enterprise or ecological transitions, they may wish to improve their CoWorking hub in terms of participatory governance or to help create a local partnerships. We hope people will learn from the Toolbox to help them deal with practical problems in their world and so will identify their own learning pathways. If we subsequently decide Continue reading

Toolbox Planning (Lisboa)

Some Resources for Toolbox Planning

I have prepared a set of slides covering the topics; this page adds links from those slides;

These are the resources we will link to on planning days October 14/15

Toolbox Vision

Presentation on Workshop Themes (October 14/15)

Toolbox Vision Document (in Google Docs)

5 Themes

Multidisciplinary CoWorking (lead partner LX Factory in Lisboa)

Local Partnerships (lead partner ZAWP in Bilbao)

Ecological Transitions (lead partner Darwin in Bordeaux)

Participatory Governance (lead partner Rojc in Pula)

Social Entrepreneurship (Lead partner Capture Projects (Lewisham) in London)

Digital Platforms (6)  Continue reading