Big Ideas…

14th December 2010 by

My name’s Sam and I’m on an internship at the Otesha Project, which is all about training me up to be able to run my own project. So that’s what I’m going to do.

Firstly, of course, I had to think of a project. What do I want to change, what can I change? I’d always wanted to do something but I needed a big idea.

I thought about it for a while on the train home, staring into empty space with my headphones in. Surrounded by dozens of people doing roughly the same; twice a day, travelling from home to work and work to home. Then they get home, sit down and watch telly, maybe text someone or go on Facebook and finally sleep before repeating.

And people are becoming more and more isolated and introverted.

So I decided I wanted to get people talking again. Not just that, but being friendly to other people, maybe even being optimistic about ‘people they don’t know yet’ rather than ‘strangers’.

Essentially, the plan is to launch an open space in my local area (probably sometime around April-ish) with the aim of promoting a real sense of community and promoting the alternatives to what has created this antisocial society. I don’t really think the ‘Big Society’ is going to cut it.

This would, hopefully, provide everyone a place to sit and relax, away from home and with other people they share the city with.

In the fantasy world this open space exists in, the facilities available include an ‘open room’ of comfy chairs and tea and biscuits, a public meeting room for any group to utilise, also possibly a room with a few beds (read mattresses) to serve as a youth hostel and a community garden outside.

It’s very early days in an ambitious project but I’m optimistic. Feedback, ideas and volunteers would be much appreciated and hopefully you’ll be hearing soon about the grand launch.

One Response to “Big Ideas…”

  1. Anneka says:

    Great idea!

    Whilst I was at Leeds Uni, a group of students, with the help of the Union, created a space called ‘The Peanut Gallery’. The idea was that it could be an open space, with “facilities available [including] an ‘open room’ of comfy chairs and tea and biscuits, a public meeting room for any group to utilise.” I’m sure if you got in touch with them they’d be happy to chat about their experiences with setting it up and maintaining it. Good luck!

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