An important function for the Food Shift network is to be useful as an idea nursery.
We want to be a home for new ideas, nurture them with collective exploration and conversation and helping them come into the world as projects.
The Ideas Nurturing Workspace is a place where ideas can be added just by adding a new topic and tagging it with whatever stage that idea is in (if you come to the workplace and only see a list of topics and no boards, click where it says “Board” near the top of the page).
The board can be seen as a sort of landing pad for ideas that are circling around in our heads. We hope to be able to ground them and nurse them so that we can then plant them into the already existing networks of projects and organisations.
It can be seen as a sort of early incubator function where we help support people and groups that come with ideas in the space. We hope to be able to act as catalysts in this process where we help drive the process though connecting people, setting up exploratory sessions (webbased or in person).
One early step is to try to identify an “idea nurse” for each idea that excited to help that idea become a project. The nurses will try to identify things like:
- who is going to be involved in taking the idea into becoming a project?
- what explicit commitments are there in that group?
- what are the needs of the people in that group in order for them to work on the project?
- what are needs (organisational, resources, learning, etc.) does the idea have in order to become a project?
We’ve created a kanban structure for ideas which is going to indicate how grounded an idea has become and what the next steps are for it to become a project. We hope for this process to keep evolvning, our first iteration for idea stages is as follows:
#Backlog (a seed of an idea)
- Early sketch of an idea, usually quite undefined
- No person is actively driving the idea (no “idea nurse”)
- Someone is actively pursuing this idea, helping bring it forward
- There is an individual or a group that is set on making this idea into a project
- There is a proposed project plan of how to go about making this idea a living project
- Whatever financing is needed for the project is place
- Ideas that have been actively explored but that are for some reason no longer in the process of being turned into projects (if you archive an idea, please add comments about why! feasibility? energy? barriers? what happened?)
- Ideas that have not been given any of the other stage tags are collected here (so that we can tag them appropriately)
Once an idea has been entered, by simply creating a new topic in the Ideas Category, tag it (click on where it says optional tags just above the text entry window) with whatever stage it is in in order to have it show up on the board.
We are working on an idea template to make it easer to format the idea in a way for others to understand what it is about. A rough structure of an idea could include explaining:
- the current situation
- the effect of this situation in the systems one is concerned with
…and what’s needed:
- the needs in relation to this situation
- the impact of attending to that need
Create a brief but comprehensive summary containing just enough information to clearly communicate the need for an action, organisation or project.
Here is an oversimplified example:
The kitchen is a mess: there are no clean cups, the sink is full of dishes and it’s not possible to quickly grab a coffee and get right back to work. We need the kitchen in a usable state so we can stay focused on our work.
The idea is to create a “dishes and cleaning routine” to solve this
Ok then, please jump in and let your ideas bathe in our collective intelligence!