Posts by Kate Cooper

The Narrativium Project @IdeasTap @mac_birmingham

NarrativiumImageWe’re recruiting three bright young creative people to work on the Narrativium Project, the concluding part of our two-year Birmingham 2050 Scenarios Project.

To that end, we’ve just posted our recruitment ad on IdeasTap. The deadline is 19th May.

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Madeleine Smith: why food investigation has to be different

In this interview, Madeleine Smith talks about the changes that are needed in food investigation. Food supplies today come from across Britain, indeed from across the world. And so local authority-led food testing isn’t adequate. In addition, today’s EHOs are trained to test for the safety of food, not deal with organised crime.

Madeleine is a Teaching Fellow in Environmental Health at the University of Birmingham; i.e. she’s a key person in the training of tomorrow’s environmental health officers.


#BrumElliott: A brilliant group of people coming on 2nd April

There’ll be  over 50 people at Aston Villa Conference Centre at the Elliott Review Birmingham workshop on 2nd April.

Chris_ElliottThey’re from all over the food supply network in the city, plus (of course!) a sprinkling of New Optimist scientists. They’ll be exploring what Birmingham can do to tackle food crime, along with Professor Chris Elliott himself (see left) and his Elliott Review team.

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The Narrativium Project — Birmingham 2050: One Family, Three Futures

NarrativiumBirmingham2050FrontispieceAs part of the Arts Council-funded Narrativium Project, Keith and Ellie Richards have created stories and background information about a five-generation Birmingham family set in several possible futures: Birmingham 2050: One family, three futures.

They’ve cleverly taken the info from the Birmingham 2050 Scenarios Project, compared the state of play in our world in 2013 with possibilities in 2050, also generated sample best and worst case scenarios, then created these four entertaining stories about characters in this fictional Birmingham family.

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Elliott Review Birmingham: To lead in the intelligence needed to ensure safe food supplies

James&icecreamThe food that you buy, the food that you put in your mouth, is it what you think it is?

The answer is: Quite possibly not.

Fancy industrial solvent inyour vodka, EU-banned flame retardant in fruit juices, herbal slimming tea containing neither tea nor herbs, but rather glucose powder mixed with prescription obesity medication at 13 times the normal dose, pork or poultry in “beef’ burgers, prawns which are actually 50% water, cheese on pizzas that isn’t actually cheese but oil-based fats?

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The Arts Council & the Birmingham 2050 Scenarios: The Narrativium Project

It was Terry Pratchett who first coined the word ‘narrativium’ as the element upon which we humans run.

We are, after all, pan narrans, the story-telling ape. It’s new “narrativium” we need to drive radical change in our response to the huge global challenges we’re facing.

PrintTo this end, the Arts Council have funded us to take everything we’ve learned from scientists and others on the Birmingham 2050 Scenarios Project and create “narrativium”, multi-media stories from the future.

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Elliott Review: Birmingham

ElliottReview_imagesKey people from across the food supply network in Birmingham will be participating in a workshop we’re co-hosting with the Elliott Review team on 2nd April.

As I reported when the interim Elliott Review report was published last December, we were already planning with the Review team how Birmingham could meet the challenge of widespread food crime.

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Scientists in the city . . . the next generation

Rosie Davies' tweetThey’re a lively bunch, this next generation of brilliant minds in the city.

Nick Booth and I met some of them last week. We’re planning to get what goes on in their minds out to a wider audience; e.g. by live streaming their conversations. Here’s just a couple of awesome examples from the short time we spent with them:

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The New Optimists: The Next Generation

TNO_NextGeneration_EventLogoWe’re hosting two get-togethers this week of rising young stars in the science community. Over 20 men and women, from disciplines ranging from nanochemistry to bioenergy, have already signed up.

The first is this Thursday at Yorks Bakery Cafe — only one place left!

The second is on Saturday afternoon at The Old Joint Stock and has three places left. So, if you’re a post-doc working in a university or research company or lab, or completing your PhD, do come along to meet us. Drinks on us!


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