We envisage a physical space, linked virtually to other physical spaces, perhaps in different cities. We would have a virtual ‘brainstorming wall’ to enable all attendees to contribute ideas. In setting up we would need to ensure ideas were submitted and partially scrutinised in advance in the hope that this would continue in real time throughout the event and beyond.
The topics would be based on a publication like an episode of a podcast and the material referred to within it, or a problem that needs solving like material waste. (Ed McCann the current ICE President has challenged the industry to, amongst other things, think again at why we always over order concrete. They would have a link back to a sector of the ‘Doughnut’ Model
There are places for dialogue at the minute, but this space will be different as it will strive to be more aware of these other spaces and will draw on different aspects of them. As well as ideas generation we want to include a safe space to learn so our even would include a ‘book club’ element so those who might not feel well informed enough to contribute would have the chance to upskill
We want everyone to be part of our space, but at the same time we recognise the need to target people! EWB have done great work speaking with the International Engineering Alliance Consultants as well as Architects. We aim to strengthen this connectivity, by expanding their network of practices, but also further create connectivity with Institute of Environmental Sciences and Royal Institute of British Architects. We also want to challenge concepts like ‘Insurers don’t insure sustainability’ and ‘accessibility is often retrofitted’. We want to include real estate developers, insurers, Royal National Institute of Blind People.
The safety of the space is vital, location selection is key with this. It needs to have good transport links and It would need certain amount of familiarity. The virtual element would mean that people could also contribute remotely. People feel safe in a place if they know people there or if they see people like them there. We’d need to create a chain of mutual friends or connections.
The space would rely on sponsorship from members in a similar way to the Sustainability Supply Chain School.
We acknowledge that we have just scratched the surface of this concept it would need significant future work and much wider research would need to be conducted. Our work was also flawed due to time, but also the skew that exists within the professionals within our group. We do not cover enough of the problem space. Even within the group the majority were Civil and Structural Engineering which created an unconscious bias in terms of topics that were discussed.