What’s in an idea?

I was not able to be at City Camp Chelmsford on Saturday so I missed what sounds like a very inspiring and encouraging event.  I hope it will become a permanent fixture in the city’s calendar alongside the Cathedral Festival, Street Diversions and the 3 Foot People Festival amongst others. I had several ideas of my own which I would have loved to have pitched and one particular one which came up through a conversation on Friday – bringing back the Chelmsford Spectacular!

I was there on Friday afternoon where there was some time for me to take the microphone and describe a few of my experiences of City Camp Brighton which I attended in 2011 and 2012.

Here are those few quick examples of the kind of ideas which came up at a City Camp Brighton

City Camp Brighton

From CityCamp Brighton 2011

My Urban Angel

My Urban AngelThe pitch was to develop a smartphone app for young people to use to keep themselves safe on a night out in the city. It needed to be practical enough to offer sensible safety features to keep the young person safe but with enough social features to make the app attractive to the target audience. This was a partnership project including the city council, street pastors, bars and clubs owners, police, health authority and the voluntary sector.

The ideas which came forward included ‘Meet my friends’ – a way to schedule key times and places throughout the evening where friends would gather and meet up. ‘Panic button’ – an easy to activate smartphone action which would call, text or alert an ICE number (In Case of Emergency). ‘Geo-location’ – allow friends and/or family to see your location in real time on a map. ‘Safe havens’ – Street Pastors, police officers, Community Health Workers and other trusted and accredited third parties would be pinpointed on a map so that the nearest safe place could be found quickly.

This idea won the £10,000 award and was taken on by the majority of the team who developed it during the weekend. It is still in development and is progressing towards a final product.

From CityCamp Brighton 2012

Brighton and Hove Untold

Bert WilliamsBert Williams conducts guided tours of the black history of Brighton. Demand was outstripping his capability to supply so he wanted to provide a ‘do-it-yourself’ guided tour. He had heard of QR Codes but didn’t really understand how they could help. His pitch was simply to ask if anyone could explain what a QR code was and if it could help in his quest to create a DIY black history tour.

Some people came forward, explained QR codes and demonstrated how they work with their mobile phones. Work began on a prototype website which would demonstrate the basics of what Bert wanted to achieve.  It included a QR code which, when scanned delivered a mobile-friendly website offering material about the selected building on the black history tour trail. Audio, video, photos and some text were deomstrated using Audioboo, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger. The prototype website was demonstrated and won £3,000 funding for meeting space, promotional material and to develop the website and QR code plaques.


LGBT Hip BrightonIn the same City Camp, an LGBT group simply wanted some help setting up Twitter and to check their overall social media strategy in general. A couple of hours later and Twitter was no longer a mystery and by the end of the day, they had their Twitter page along with the knowledge to start tweeting. In this case, the solution was found on the day and there was no need for an ongoing project. the point is that City Camps can equally accommodate the huge, ground-breaking ideas alongside some simple advice.

Here is the complete list of the projects from City Camp Brighton 2012


About David White

Web Manager for Essex Police
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