Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

SOAR WORKS, Sheffield

May 18, 2011

We have been very busy with SOAR Works (a 3600m2 new build community enterprise centre)  on site these last few months. Here are a few photos showing the building coming together, from seeing the steel frame in the fabrication shop, to being craned into position, and then bolted and welded on site. With all the steel frame erected, you really get an impression of the scale of the building. Floor slabs have been cast into the metal decking and internal walls are well underway – the internal rooms are taking shape.
The progress on site has been very visual over the last few weeks with windows and glass panels going in. Photos to be posted shortly. SH

Visit to the Fabrication Workshop

Erecting the steel frame

The building taking shape

One of the large workshops with a window to the studio above


Compendium for the Civic Economy: Official Launch 12 May 2011

May 4, 2011

Finally, after more than a year of blood, sweat and tears (and just a pinch of hard work), 00:/ will be launching its newest publication; Compendium for the Civic Economy – a book that showcases 100 existing civic initiatives that are transforming local economies and places in the UK and abroad. The official launch is scheduled for 12 May 2011 at 8.45-10.30 AM and will be hosted by NESTA at 1 Plough Place, EC4A 1DE, London.

Speakers include Pam Warhurst (Incredible Edible Todmorden), Sam Coniff (Livity) and our own Indy Johar.

To register for the FREE event, please visit:

From 12 May, the book will be freely available online at – please check the website and/or our twitter profile @civic_economy for updates.


ReEbla – books worth reading

March 4, 2011

As part of a challenge set by 00:/, a group of students from LSE’s Open Innovation course is setting up an online bookstore for the Social Economy.

From the website:

“ReEbla brings together a distinct collection of books. Based on a system of recommendations, ReEbla aims to provide customers with quality books that are favoured by inspiring personalities, be it field experts, practitioners or celebrities. These inspiring personalities are selected by the users. We invite everyone to come to our website and vote for the person whose book recommendations he/she wishes to see.

We aim to collect recommendations from the 1000 most inspiring people of our generation and compile a collection of unique books that are definitely worth reading.


Home for the Golden Gays | UK Film Premiere at 00:/

January 10, 2011

On Thursday January 27, 00:/ will host the official UK premiere of the short documentary film “Home for the Golden Gays”, produced in 2010 for the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) for use as educational material in the country’s primary and secondary schools. The film is set in the chaotic metropolis of Manila, the Philippines and deals with issues including ageing, sexual identity, feelings of belonging and sense of place.

In Denmark, the film has sparked debates in The Church of Denmark, where rev. Pernille Østrem proclaimed that “if Jesus went to Manila, one of the first things he would do was to visit the Home for the Golden Gays”. It has also resonated with a recent campaign for private and public sector provision of retirement homes in Denmark catering especially for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans persons) groups.

A reception will be held from 19.00, and the feature will be screened at 19.30, lasting for approx. 15 minutes.

Read more about the film HERE



October 6, 2010

We’ve just launched a new 00:/Teambox service!

Teambox ( is a collaboration platform based on a micro-blogging system – we’ll be using it to share out project development discussions both internally and with collaborators.

We’ll be hosting our own installation of Teambox on our servers, so it will be a secure way to share project-specific files and conversations.

You can find the new resource here:

Launch of London Hackspace in Hoxton

August 3, 2010

London Hackspace had their space warming party on Sunday to celebrate their move into Cremer Street Business Centre so I went along to find out what was going on. As soon as you enter there’s the thrill of a workshop crossed with a mad inventors lab. I saw angle grinders next to a half repaired (or deconstructed?) bike, old school singer sewing machines, a workbench, an amazing open source 3D printer by makerbot industries that replicates itself and other tools and machines that i dont know the name of. Oh and a disco ball with flashing ligts. Hackspaces as i understand it, are places where like minded people can get together and tinker around, invent, make, play, exchange ideas and tips on many things. They describe it as a communal garden shed. I thought it might be limted to a few techy boffins playing with circuit boards and computer parts but that was just my limited interpretation of hackers. Actually the members of London hackspace don’t define hacker activity to a particular area. One described hacking to me as the act of taking, remaking anything – at London hackspace, this currently includes a planned knitting class (referred to as the first type of programming language), a lock picking sports club, bike repair shop, as well as the more techy activities of playing with circuit components and a tesla aerial (just because it made a cool noise when 4000volts was run through it).

There are quite a few precedences for hackspaces – I had previously come across the more well known ones such as the NYC Resistor in New York and c-base in Berlin – the Hackspace Foundation networks these spaces together. There’s clearly a real community feel to the crowd – faces being recognised from gatherings such as hackdays and dorkbot events.

Having decamped from a shared space with an archery range where they were located for a year, London Hackspace are hoping this move to their own space means that they can grow their membership but also have the room to really have fun. The monthly membership is £40 (less if you can’t afford that) it’s 24/7 access, a proudly anarchistic operation(there are no strict rules or preset definitions of what goes) and people act very much in a shared spirit evidenced by the donated tools and kit and their openess to talk to anyone that is curious in learning.

There was much conversation on the fact that spaces and places like this don’t exist easily, particularly in London because of the commercialisation of space. How do we value these activities that are beyond hobbies but not quite “work” – yet their value in creating a skill and knowledge base is invaluable – and primarily the self taught education of exploring by doing and making. This is the real classroom that should be present in all neighbourhoods – not only do spaces like this spread knowledge and other ways of learning, they are a class in civil society itself. Go down to check it out.


Working with architect’s of the future

July 30, 2010

For the third year, 00:/ ran the Futureversity (formerly Summer University) ‘Get into Architecture’ course for young people who are interested in a career in architecture and related fields. It was a pleasure to run – the group was so inquisitive and creative.


Lets teach our kids to be entrepreneurs instead of lawyers…

July 26, 2010

Inspiring talk from Cameron Herold at TEDxEdmonton on the need to encourage kids to be entrepreneurs. Its witty with stories from his own childhood in the skills he picked up in the everyday – from collecting unused coathangers from neighbours to sell on to the drycleaners to recognising a demand market in the form of 70 year old pensioners playing bridge and selling them sodas. Aside from the amusing anecdotes – the key issues here are that our educations systems and societal expectations are all geared towards pushing kids into fitting into box a, b or c. Those that don’t fit are viewed as wrong, troublesome or in need of help. And the result is a society that is simplistic in its approach to innovation and work. If you don’t fit in a certain way in a few professions you sit outside of mainstream economics and highlighted as an issue or problem to be solved (centrally) using the resources that are being gathered by an increasingly fewer number, or perhaps artificially sustained through the public purse in a seperate accounting column that does not deal with the systemic issues, or create the space to recognise that there is an issue in the first place.  I’d recommend pairing up this video with this article from the Economist “In search of serendipity” a review of ” The Power of Pull” by John Hagel, John Seely Brown and Lang Davison, which describes  theose connector people in business that make things happen. The article describes how the book presents a case for a different approach to business – that the platform technologies of today ie the internet, – challenge the top down approach to business that is perhaps still the standard in business schools. These are skills with nuances that cannot be translated solely into textbooks. As described in the article, “the “power of pull”, a term the authors define as “the ability to draw out people and resources as needed to address opportunities and challenges.” They propose a three-pronged pulling strategy. First, approach the right people (they call this “access”). Second, get the right people to approach you (attraction). Finally, use these relationships to do things better and faster (achievement).” Is our education system or even societal structures able to identify, understand and nurture these qualities as part of the story of enterprise and innovation?

Time to rethink the way we educate the next generation to be more prepared by reunderstanding how we value skills.


NESTA Local Knowledge : A case study on innovative places

July 22, 2010

00:/ were selected and commissioned to contribute to NESTA’s Local Knowledge report collection of essays on Innovative Places. Our case study explores The Hub King’s Cross, a workspace, members club and business incubator. It is centred around a series of flexible spaces for individual work, meetings and events, and is unusual in many ways such as its intensity of utilisation. Using qualitative interviews and roundtables with key individuals involved, we analysed The Hub’s underlying place-making strategy which seeks to create fertile conditions for different types of innovation. The analysis emphasises the importance of thinking both about physical parameters and about social and organisational tactics in order to succeed at fostering a different culture of daily behaviour amongst the users.

This is what we call place making for innovation – a necessity for 21st century entrepreneurialism. Have a read – see what you think…


..and all I got was this lousy eraser.

July 19, 2010

On Tuesday JB, SH and AP dropped into the House of Commons Gift Shop, via a hustings event organised by the Open Left project at Demos. Representatives for each of the five Labour leadership candidates were quizzed on where their candidate stands in relation to various policies raised by questions from the attendees, including 00:/.

Highlight / Hazel Blears: “The Conservatives have stolen our clothes!”

Quick Summary / Very few signs of where the centre-left of UK politics might be going. The terms of debate were a little tired and familiar, deficits, schools cuts, ‘big’ vs ‘small’ government, Trident…  you might argue that the language being used by the centre-left is stil being shaped by the centre-right.

We would like to have heard a bit more about... /  Labour’s alternative to the ‘Big Society’, climate change and energy security (still no-one talking about peak oil), a long term strategy for tackling the North/South divide, the future of the BBC, 21st century citizenship and what the centre-left’s approach to house price inflation and the housing crisis might be.

Interesting Afterthought / As we left, one of David Miliband’s supporters was handing out copies of his recent Keir Hardie speech, one notable section of which suggests that the ‘Big Society’ idea is here to stay, and that the debates to come are more about its authenticity and implementation, something 00:/ spend a lot of time thinking about: “I take the Big Society seriously.  But it is a piece of doublethink – a small society maintained by voluntarism and charity alone. I want a bigger society, based on reciprocity not just kindness or charity, and I intend to make that a Labour issue.”

A video of the event can be viewed here.