Robbie Macpherson from Community Action: MK recently spent the day in London meeting the other organisations who have received Nesta funding for work in creative public engagement around innovation policy.

We will be working with the disability community, MKC’s transport team and developers to enable them to talk about how driverless cars can work for disabled people in Milton Keynes.

Philippa Tipper from Word in Edgeways will help them develop their understanding of each other and their needs with storytelling workshops.

Another grantee is also working on the subject of driverless cars, finding out more generally from the public how they feel about them and their use. We are exploring ways we can work together, perhaps offering demonstrations in MK to disabled groups from the areas where they are based – Hereford and St Albans.

Other projects include teaching theatre skills to young people in Birmingham so they can deliver a production about an issue which matters to them to an invited audience of stakeholders including decision-makers. Leeds City Council are helping their citizens better understand how big data can be used to tackle housing, health and transport issues in their city. 

We also got to try out four creative engagement approaches – storytelling, games development, digital tools and theatre skills – working on real challenges the attendees have.

It was an inspiring day, hearing about other projects, meeting people working on public engagement, learning about other ways of getting people engaged with finding new solutions to pressing problems in our cities.