Day-by-day & method

Daily summary

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Co-creation method

Developed by Butterfly Works

Co-creation expresses the idea that ‘none of us are as smart as all of us’; that an action plan or campaign will dramatically improve by involving makers, thinkers, authors and end-users. Co-creation results in more concrete and relevant programs, more effective collaborations and more impact. Social innovation studio Butterfly Works is involved in the Activist Academies to support this innovative, action-oriented work method during the Academies.

Social issue

Public space, citizenship, social cohesion and social change are strongly intertwined and of great importance to activists from different backgrounds. The goal of this Activist Academy is to jointly create a concrete action and/or campaign that addresses a concrete problem of public space and activism. More specifically, on the matter of the displacement of the Municipal Football Stadium in Tareek el Jdidheh to Horsh Beirut park. Read more about the social issue here.

Elaborated day-to-day

Day 1 – Laying the foundation

The first day consisted of ‘laying the foundation’. We started the day with a warm-up to get to know each other. Afterwards, we focused on the social issue of public space in Beirut by listening to an explanation by NAHNOO and brainstorming about it. After the brainstorm we went to the stadium area for a photo walk. The idea was to take images of the area and details that stand out while walking – resulting in a mapping of the stadium and park area. After the walk the participants selected two pictures that captured the subject best for them.

Day 2 – Innovate: idea generation

The photo selections from the previous day provided us with evolving ideas around the area when sharing different perspectives. We split into four groups and worked out a social issue statement per group. All groups made their own actor networks to get an understanding of the different organizations, people and technologies involved in the social issue. Mapping out the network made it easy for the groups to define their target group: the actors that are the most beneficial to the group’s goal. Then, by writing a manifesto, the groups could come up with first campaign ideas. Nathalie Fallaha gave an inspiration presentation on developing successful campaigns (brands), helping the group with campaign ideas. This was followed by an inspiration presentation by Heath Morrison on the use of media and ICT to reach out to a bigger audience. We concluded the day by using the case in the first campaign ideas.

Day 3 – Make it practical

After an energizer that gave us insight into the team profiles, we agreed upon a combined campaign vision: community engagement in and awareness of the urban development plans to stimulate and facilitate the pleasant use of the public spaces. Then the groups voted on their favorite idea to work further on. The outcome of the session were the following activities:

Group 1 — neighborhood competition to improve the stadium

Group 2 — theatre play about the stadium plans

Group 3 — ironic marketing ad about Horsh

Group 4 — road signs to the Horsh

Before going into the making mindset, the groups defined possible successes and failures for their activities to take into account. Furthermore, they wrote out what resources were needed to implement the activity. The inspiration presentations on the third day were given by ZOOMAAL on crowdfunding and Kassem Istanbouli on street theater. Afterwards, the groups actively worked on making their ideas become reality.

Day 4 – Activist hive & expo

In pairs, we worked out the ideal follow-up scenario. Mainly the participants shared that they would like to see the activities get implemented, that the park will be open for everyone and that the neighbors will be engaged in the Stadium area plans. Then we went over the highlights of the Academy: what went well, what could have gone better? During the third part of the day, the organizations and participants laid out their roles and responsibilities in the implementation of the campaign plans, follow-up and future Academies.

The day ended with an expo: time to show off the work! All outcomes of the week were presented in the workshop space. Take a look on the visual material page to get an impression of what it looked like.

Download the extended report on the Activist Academy 2015 here.