If there's one thing we've learned running the Lab - it's that language matters.
Our last concept was called Fuel Poverty until we found that A) people didn't understand what it meant and B) the poverty word is a big turn-off. Now we talk about affordable warmth - of having a home you can heat.
We need to be really careful when talking about loneliness.
In the UK we would rather talk about death, money or body image than admitting loneliness.
Two thirds of British people would find it uncomfortable to confide in a family member or friend that they need some company - because loneliness can carry a social stigma of being associated with mental health.
So we need to be very careful around language as our concept develops.
So - what are we looking at? These are the current things we are exploring. Please note these are really early in the problem definition/ideation phase - we might have binned them by next week!
You can keep up with all of these by subscribing to their individual trello card accessible through the link.
From the top:
- How can bump spaces/technology create opportunities for community connection? This will be explored beginning with our iBeacon test - although we'll also be looking at estate and scheme design.
- Is anti social behaviour just a sign of loneliness - and do we need to change the way we deal with it?
- Could under occupied homes/bedroom tax be an opportunity to solve loneliness?
- How can the emerging multi-skilled roles that Bromford are deploying identify loneliness and match people to community networks?
- Could we use our You Can Foundation differently to pro-actively target community groups and incentivise them to connect the disconnected?
- What if we gave communities a greater say in who lived next door? This was envisaged before our loneliness concept but is a connected test.
- Do we need a Tinder for Loneliness? What is the place of digital networks and how are they best deployed?
- What are the optimal conditions for bringing communities together? Panic, local cause, animals? Should we just let a goat loose armed with a GoPro?
Seriously - we are considering the last one.
You'll be able to follow all these developments - whether they succeed, fail or get shelved.