Smart SupperInspiring young people to solve city challenges
Peterborough wanted to look at different ways of tackling city challenges, with fresh thinking, no boundaries or limitations. Young people are often disengaged and feel powerless in shaping the future of their city. Combine the two challenges and an opportunity arises to do things differently.
Smart Supper takes inspiration from crowd-based micro-funding ideas such as Detroit Soup Night. The event is formed of local Peterborough students (ages 11–18) working in teams in order to pitch their ideas to local decision makers and experts in the challenge area. The audience pay a set fee for their supper and then vote for their favourite idea. The winner is then awarded the proceeds of the night, to help bring their ideas to life.
These events are designed to be a fun and inspiring opportunity to introduce young people to city challenges and help preserve and nurture their creativity. From grasping the challenge areas such as sustainable transport to circular economy, the students apply them in all sorts of novel ways and move on to proposing ambitious but realistic ideas such as designing community gardens from recycling waste building materials to urban mining.
The opportunity for the young people to present their ideas also allows local decision makers to experience the talent that lies within the city. This has resulted in bringing some of these ideas to life that might not have otherwise been realised.
The Smart Supper programme received the Gold Award 2015 at The Green Apple Environment Awards. The team was honoured to receive recognition from such a well-known and prestigious environmental campaign.