July Update: What’s happened & what next on TNO Forum

 The New Optimists Forum July Update is now on-line.

The 70 or so people involved, over half of whom are regional scientists, have already made a remarkable difference — summed up in the Birmingham 2050 Scenarios Project Report (which contains all four of the previously published mini-reports).

What’s next?

The twin notions of Birmingham+2050 has proved hugely stimulating. So we’ll continue this strategic direction, with Forum topics such as children’s health and happiness, personal transport systems, urban biodiversity and the range of economic and ownership models for distributed energy.

This is some programme, so we’re talking to the new Library of Birmingham to co-design and co-host some of it. They’re as keen as we are to put science and scientists at the heart of intellectual debate in the city.

Scenarios need stories, ‘narrativum’ for the general public to get a grip on possibilities for the future. So, along with the MAC and the Birmingham Leadership Foundation, we’re applying for funding for young citizens, aided by a professional film-maker, a musician and a dramatist, to create their multi-media ‘stories from the future’ based on commissioned fictional aspects of this scenarios project.

Meanwhile, spin-off Growing Birmingham, now a lively working committee not only brought The Big Dig to Birmingham, they are also showcasing the social impact of our numerous growing sites across the city at this week’s Fairbrum Social Inclusion Summit. (Thank you, Fairbrum, for show-casing What’s past is prologue.)

After we mooted a Birmingham Food Council (or whatever title would be deemed appropriate) at the Council House last September, Birmingham Public Health picked up the baton, commissioned a Food Charter and a Council looks set to rock this summer. Yay!

Other successes include invitations to speak at the SWM Sustainable Supper in April, TEDxWarwick in March, a repeat invitation to the Change Leaders Network at Said Business School again this September, & only last week, an invitation to chair a CSR event at the brilliant Heart of England Forest.

The New Optimists Forum is also represented at the Fairbrum Inclusion Summit this week (having submitted our Response to their Green Paper last year. We’re also on the Expert Panel of the Liveable Cities Project & attended the Global Food Security meeting in London in late 2012.


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