This is the fourth in a series looking at loneliness - track back through our diary for previous parts

The obligatory Pokemon Go reference...

The obligatory Pokemon Go reference...


That quote comes from a post that Amy Morgan wrote for the Lab when we first started looking at the issue of loneliness. In the short research piece  we concluded that creating a 'Bromford' network to better connect people would be exactly the wrong direction of travel.

Many of us have reached 'peak social network'. We are already overrun with notifications from Facebook , Twitter and Instagram so please don't ask us to join us your new Slack channel. 

Any new network that aims to bring people together needs to be a truly killer app.

The success of Pokemon Go has already been blogged to death - but there are important lessons to be learned about how new networks can A) call people to join them and B) change behaviour.

As Amy said herself "I moved into my house a year ago - and Pokemon Go has introduced me to people I've never even seen before." A number of events worldwide have shown the game has the power to bring communities together in a safe, friendly, and positive environment.

Some people have talked about a 'population level' surge in fitness activity - all from a game that didn't have any intention of improving health. The diagram below from Jawbone tells it's own story. 

So, what's this got to do with our Lab Tests on Loneliness?

There are a lots of digital tools available that aim to address issues of isolation or ageing. The funding and creation of new ones shows no sign of slowing. 

One things for sure - we don’t think Bromford are need to develop any more.  

Our test will explore what’s the best of those available? What are the ones that communities could be exploring and how can community connectors play a role in promoting the role of digital networks. 

This will be a series of small scale tests (approx six) between now and April 2017 to add to the toolkit of our Neighbourhood Coaches. It may also see tests of technology at the early stage of the mainstream market e.g sensors and i-beacons. 

As we said in our last post our aim is to see a community connector on every corner.
To make sure bump spaces exist for accidental encounters.
And to see communities supported by the digital tools they need. 

We'll conclude our series of posts tomorrow