The New Optimists: Spin-offs

Various initiatives and organisations have happened, either as a direct activity begun by the New Optimists or through encouragement (aka chivvying, going on about):

  • Growing Birmingham began as a website in April 2012 to be an information hub for community (food) growers in the city. It rapidly morphed into a lively working committee who are making many a tangible difference for the better.
  • Professor Chris Elliott asked the New Optimists scientists to contribute to the Elliott Review into food supply networks, specifically to help him generate a case study of how a major UK city could tackle food crime. This resulted in the Elliott Review Birmingham (see also the Prof’s final Report, notably Annex N, published in September 2014).
  • We were granted Arts Council funding in March 2014 for a Narrativium Project, along with the MAC (Midlands Arts Centre), to enable young citizens create multi-media ‘stories from the future’, based on the scientists’ work on the scenarios project. This generated One family, four stories by Keith and Ellie Richards, and Food Futuresa theatrical response to the Birmingham 2050 Scenarios Project performed at the Midland Arts Centre on 27th September 2014.
    • We are in the process of applying for funding for another artistic work under the Narrativium Project. If successful, we will commission the writing and performance of a theatrical song cycle — think rock opera meets Greek chorus meets jazz composition meets community choir — in the Library of Birmingham foyer, live streamed into the Bull Ring Markets. Subject matter? Food crime . . .
  • The new Library of Birmingham have asked us to work with them to meet their objective of putting science and scientists at the core of intellectual debate in the city.
  • We are exploring the possibility of a Life Scientists Network in the region.

In addition:

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