On Tuesday 27th June 2011 I was sat watching telly at home with my wife, Anne. A programme called Poor Kids came on, a documentary showing what it was like growing up poor in Britain through the eyes of children.
Throughout the programme I must have been moaning away about how unfair it seemed and asking how we can call ourselves civilised when we let 1 in 5 of our young people grow up in poverty and so on, when Anne said to me ‘So what are you going to do about it?’.
What a great question.
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?
Well, I started off by doing a bit of research into how poverty and in particular child poverty pans out in Leeds, my home city. What I found out what was not pretty. While we are a pretty prosperous Northern city, with less children living in poverty than most, it seemed that we were a more segregated city where some communities appeared to be almost poverty free, while others had approaching 50% of their children living in poverty. Across the city 22% of Leeds children are growing up in poverty.
So, prompted by Anne I decided I would have a crack at doing something, and that something was an Innovation Lab. An Innovation Lab is essentially a group of people who come together for a period to think of new ways of solving problems. We would have an Innovation Lab to explore Disrupting Poverty. A mosh pit of creativity.
Since the original innovation Lab we have run two more Results Factories, designing and executing projects that have a reasoned chance of making a positive difference in Leeds. The next Results Factory on Disrupting Poverty will take place in Leeds on July 30th. We already have well over 30 people signed up. Ordinary folk who care, politicians, academics, campaigners, faith based groups, council folk all lined up to dive into a ‘mosh pit of creativity’.
You can sign up to join us here: http://dispov.eventbrite.co.uk/