A lot can happen in a day when you’re surrounded by energy, potential, and of course strong coffee. We launched rockets in the morning, developed business ideas in the afternoon, discussed ethics this evening, and challenged ourselves to larger-than-life Jenga tonight alongside a piano sing-a-long. I think the sugar rush from a big bowl of jelly and chocolate ice cream is the only reason I’m still conscious.
The rockets were an absolute blast (pun intended), and I’ll try to get some photos up later on. However, it’s the business ideas that this afternoon’s brainstorm generated that I’d most like to share right now. Thanks to 7 subject prompts, 45 fresh minds, and hundreds of post-it notes, participants developed and presented 14 new enterprise possibilities. If you wanted to think about a new business idea every day, these would last you a fortnight! And they are… *drumroll* …
1. Remote Controlling Pilots: Airplanes controlled by pilots who remain on the ground, making air travel safer, faster, and more controlled. Also combats hijacking as nobody onboard can fly the plane.
2. Fashion Accessories with USBs: Integrating communications with your clothing, I think the proposal of ‘Technology in your pants’ is as exciting as it is hilarious. Cool accessories such as belts, bracelets and glasses with storage capacities would allow you to look good and ‘wear your data’. I’m sold!
3. Olympics Get with the Culture programme: Olympics should not just be about the sports, but also emphasising the culture of countries around the world to promote greater unity. This group would like to ‘see Mother Nature involved as well, cuz she’s really nice.’ Suggested events include elephant polo, chess, and cookery.
4. Olympedia: An encyclopedia to the Olympics with highlights of matches, upcoming events, a city guide, etc… this group is the most gung ho at carrying their idea forward, so I’m excited to see where they wind up in a couple days.
5. Connecting UK children that want to study around the world with teaching organisations… letting students do a GCSE year abroad in multiple countries.
6. Expert Teach: Want to learn English from Shakespeare, science from Stephen Hawking, or religion from Richard Dawkins? A headset offering virtual teaching will allow students to get their education from masters such as these via virtual experiences.
7. Enterprisers for Prisoners: Introducing entrepreneurship to offenders, Enterprisers programmes could offer access to small startup grants, help prisoners raise some money, and lower the likelihood of reoffending. Thomas was in this group so he can do the idea more justice (ah, pun unintended that time, I promise).
8. Give and Take: Exchanging services within the community to bring people together better. Electricians, gardeners, and other workers could make themselves available through a website (ie. http://www.giveandtake.com), and I think you store credits to use in exchange for your own services. You can also review each other – thumbs up or thumbs down – so you know what you’re getting.
9. Be Part of the Journey: 3D virtual journeys for older people that are unable to leave their houses. A 3D viewing device would allow the elderly to access the memories and experiences of people that have taken trips, and the virtual experience would be done to make the person feel like they were actually there – not just a passive viewer. They foresee a subscription fee for viewing, and would also expand the service into the disabled market. This was one of my favourite ideas actually, and I wonder if Living in the Moment would consider doing anything in this area.
10. Sports Centre for the Elderly: Improve the fitness of the elderly with fitness facilities tailored to the 60+ crowd. In addition to exercise facilities, they’d offer Nintendo wii fitness classes and other entertaining options.
11. Car Parts Database: Promote the re-use of car parts with a UK database of items that are available. There are so many potential parts that could be re-used, but currently there’s no coordination of where they exist or who needs them. This business would target junk yards, car restorers, and poor students.
12. Waste Wizards: Collecting and composting food waste from restaurants, supermarkets and hospitals, which would reduce landfill mass and improve participating companies’ CSR. The compost would then be sold on to farmers and also used on the Waste Wizards’ own farm, which will run a cafe and offer courses for the community on composting and vegetable growing.
13. Tribes: A new reality TV programme which lets the public vote nationally for social tasks to be carried out in local communities (ie. build new playground in Darlington). The aim of Tribes is to reunite people to bring about a sense of purpose, and fix up communities at the same time.
14. Hero Wall: Celebrating local heros in each community, a hero wall provides a lasting legacy to people that have really made a difference in that area. The aim would be to inspire other people, unite local communities, and get people thinking back to childhood ambitions of ‘I want to be ___ when I’m older…’
Clearly a very mixed bunch, as prompts varied from ‘Converging Technologies’ to ‘Education if Carlsberg Ran It’ to ‘Grassroots Efforts for Raising Aspirations’. Any ideas you want to throw at these? Have a favourite you’d actually like to see? Holler in a comment if so, I’ll pass it along!