03 April 2016
As we have been immersing ourselves in the principles of the sharing economy for the last two months; collaboration, sharing of time and skills and transparency, our first port of call was Grub Club. Grub Club curates the best Pop Ups and Supper Clubs in London and they recommended we host our supper club at The Skip Garden. When people think of skips they think of construction, building and dirt. The team at Skip Garden don't. They thought less rubble and more rhubarb. That's why they started using skips to farm food.
The Skip Garden welcomed our charity partners from British Red Cross, Guide Dogs, UNICEF, Save the Children, The Royal British Legion, Oxfam, NSPCC, RNIB and Water Aid. We were joined by our fellows and advisors; Sian Prime from Goldsmiths and Gareth Williams from Sofa.com. We hosted a range of people who have been part of our research; Matthew Mc Stravick founder of ECHO and John Sills from The Foundation.
Roddy Campbell, founder of Vrumi told us a short story conveying the potential of the sharing economy and what we can all learn from businesses such as Vrumi. The idea for Vrumi came to Roddy as he watched his next door neighbour deliver piano lessons in his living room. He realised most of our houses have vacant rooms that could be used by entrepreneurs, SME's and even actors who need a quiet space to rehearse.
James Alexander, one of the founders of Zopa, shared his journey of setting up what is now the world's oldest and Europe's largest peer-to-peer lending service having now lent over £1 billion. James eloquently articulated how the process of building, launching and succeeding can seem simple and almost pre-defined in retrospect but in reality it is inconvenient, messy and uncomfortable. Time is a very important axis to measure your ideas against - are the markets ready? is now the time your customers will pay for this? He talked about businesses such as GiffGaff and Just Giving and what the charity sector can learn from these teams.
Johnty Gray of Water Aid, shared his experience of a recent event hosted and curated by Good Lab and New.Co. The purpose of the New.Co day was to introduce our partners and our team to businesses and teams doing interesting work within the sharing economy. We spent time with a range of teams from TallySticks to EasyCar and Johnty shared the lessons he took away from each company.
"This feels very different from events hosted and attended by charities and that's important for this kind of work"
Janine Chandler, partner at Good Innovation
We will be hosting another supper club in the coming months and we are now more convinced than ever by the power of meeting, sharing and learning over food. We are big fans of the work Hardeep Singh Kohli is doing around making change happen through food too. Watch this space!