I’m proud to be on the advisory board of Futureshift, which has evolved in a tiny part from some of the story gathering we did with the Community Lover’s Guide to Birmingham It’s an “an invitation to design and build a new civic initiative” and very potent and practical approach to support innovation on improving civic life Birmingham and the Black County.
We are seeing citizen-led ventures emerge and change the very systems of our economy: new ways of growing, distributing, sharing and learning about the food we eat; new ways of saving, producing, distributing, financing and owning the energy we use everyday; new ways of providing care, of sharing resources, new ways of running shops.
We call them ‘hybrid’ ventures because they frequently flourish by making unlikely combinations such as between care and fashion; energy and food; workspace and cinema.
These combinations work because they make sense locally, driven by the creativity, energy and drive of entrepreneurial citizens. These new ways of doing create collective and multiple value – economic as well as social; environmental as well as financial. They can create much-needed positive outcomes and better places across the region.
It is these kind of networks, shops, spaces and platforms we aim to originate, re-design, develop and support – both locally and at city and infrastructure level, to create tools which enable hybrid ventures to flourish.