This May Transition Town Brixton teamed up with the Impact Hub Brixton to launch weekly Open Project Nights aimed at becoming the go-to event for local, social entrepreneurs and community organising.
Described as ‘a watering hole for people who want to make stuff happen’, the events are free and are an opportunity for people to meet, work, network, trade skills and find collaborators for community projects in Lambeth. Impact Hub Birmingham was the first to start these events. It has some similarity with the monthly Shared Space events that TTB ran from 2010 until 2014.
So far the Open Project nights have up to 45 attendees, representing many different groups and organisations. Some excellent projects have already started to come out of the events including the Brixton People’s Fridge, a Community Cafe and Incredible Edible Lambeth’s “Going for Gold” Sustainable Food Cities challenge. Open Project Nights are also proving to be a great way of creating stronger connections between existing enterprises, with groups such as Makerhood and It’s Your Local Market meeting there for the first time.
Once a month Transition Town Brixton hold the space for special REconomy nights, focused on inventing and supporting the growth of a new local economy. Although it is early days, the Bank of Lambeth are already using this space to develop their plans which promise to invigorate the local economy.
The team are particularly interested in using the space to developing ways of supporting ‘Transition enterprises’ like urban food-growers who are ahead of the curve and are helping bend that curve towards a future that is more local, cooperative, interconnected and full of the things many people want out of life like good food, friends, fun, meaning and more.
So on July 11 the group hosted a special ‘Local Food is Growing‘ event aimed at helping network local food growing entrepreneurs and projects and the community. Six projects presented their work, plans and challenges to an interested audience, who later took part in small group sessions where they were invited to give feedback and suggest ways they might be able to help the enterprises. At events like this the ‘genius of the community’ can often produce astonishing and unexpected results. This proved to be the case again here, with Rootcraft who had presented at the event, reporting they had been invited to present their concept at the V&A’s Overgrow the System event as a direct result of their involvement with Open Project Night! They have also been offered 2 private gardens as growing space and have developed a collaboration with Urban Growth Learning Gardens Watch our short film and read a full report on the Local Food is Growing Event night here.
On Monday 12 September Transition Town Brixton’s new New Economy Group met for the first time. The first incarnation of this group had become the Brixton Pound in 2009. The group will meet at Open Project Night every second Monday to think and do towards realising a local economy ‘as if people and the planet mattered’.
Open Project Nights take place every Monday evening at 6.30pm at The Impact Hub Brixton. REconomy sessions take place every second Monday of the month. Everyone is welcome. The event is free to attend, but please bring something to add to our pot-luck supper!
Reported by Duncan Law & Laura Outhart
This REconomy Project work is generously supported by the Friends Provident Foundation and the Polden-Puckham Charitable Foundation.