Drew Mackie and David Wilcox
We use games and simulations to explore how to use network mapping with digital and other methods to help people connect personally, at neighbourhood level and across London.
We use a fictitious but realistic place - the London Borough of Slipham - as a Living Lab to explore how to improve the ways in which people connect with local services, organisations, and opportunities in their community.
We can also work together in the Lab to find out what support organisations need, and what is involved in putting ideas into practice.
To do that we have a background map of existing connections, some characters and organisations, and some challenges to meet. The Lab can then be developed - subject to funding - as a “for real” co-design toolkit for local people and organisations.
Our Way Ahead and Connecting Londoners ran a workshop with about 50 people on November 16 2017 at London Metropolitan University to play through how to develop networked support systems for civil society.
During an hour and a half session we heard about current plans for support systems focussed on a Hub; adopted roles from concerned citizen to network leader and council officer; reviewed challenges and ideas from a consultant’s report; developed further ideas, and then chose methods and actions to carry them out.
We negotiated how we could support each other with funding, endorsement, and sharing. And we decided who could deliver on the ideas. We then captured our reports of the project ideas on video - and discussed what we had learned from the session.
Not everyone is comfortable with role playing games, and one alternative is to invite groups to develop fictitious personas as the basis for further discussion about communication methods or other solutions to challenges raised in development of the persona.
In May 2016 we designed and ran a workshop game with the Centre for Ageing Better that explored how to use digital method to enable better connections for older people, their friends, families and neighbourhood interests and support. Workshop report.
We developed a game with the Management Development Network to explore how their members could best use computers, tablets and smartphones. Workshop report.