Even more incredible. We have hit our first stretch goal, but Massive SMALL has much bigger ambitions. Our purpose is to scale up urban change and you are part of this change. We now have more ambitious stretch goals. Please help the message 'to build a better urban society' spread even further. All backers will vote to decide which cities we go to - please back us!
The Massive SMALL Project
In an increasingly complex and changing world, where global problems are felt locally, the systems we use to plan, design and build our towns and cities are doomed to failure. Governments alone cannot solve these problems. We believe there is another way and we can show you how.
We are creating a concise body of collective knowledge designed to change our top-down systems: a book of lessons from the field; an online submissions platform to collect, develop and share knowledge; a visual framework for building action; and a manual of evolving ideas, tools and tactics both printed and later online. These help and inspire people and government to work together, allowing communities to shape their own environments and make towns and cities that work for us, not against us. We call it the MASSIVE SMALL Compendium.
Who is it for?
The MASSIVE SMALL Compendium is for active citizens, civic leaders and urban professionals. In other words:
- Anyone who wants to make a difference, but doesn't know where to start. It's for the people who know there must be a better way.
- Anyone who understands that, although the problems are complex, the solutions can be simple if people are given a chance to solve them.
- Anyone who knows that small actions can have massive impacts if these actions can be scaled up to a higher level.
- Anyone who believes that cities are frameworks for diversity and equality and must work for all their citizens, not the chosen few.
- Finally, it is especially for governments, who know they need to change but don’t know how. We provide a practical way.
Why do we need it?
For three generations governments the world over have tried to order and control the evolution of our cities through rigid, top down, single-vision interventions. They have failed. Master plans lie unfinished. Housing standards have declined. The environment is worse off. The urban poor have become poorer. We are in crisis. The problems faced by our rapidly increasing urban populations are as deep and complex as the rich and diverse opportunities that cities foster.
The MASSIVE SMALL Project proposes a new way forward:
- To take our cities back from those mired in 'the way things have always been done' and change their mindsets and behaviours.
- To empower communities to find new solutions to their problems by giving them the necessary conditions in which to flourish.
- To allow everyone to create the urban environment they deserve by trusting people to do the right thing. Civilisation rests on this fact.
- By showing governments there is an alternative...
The Massive Small ask...
Driven by a strong social purpose with a worldwide focus and reach, the MASSIVE SMALL Project is ready, with your help, to scale up.
- It has an energetic network of international collaborators.
- It has an online community of some 15,000 members.
- It is led by an experienced team who have worked at the top of their professions.
- It is backed up by major institutions - UCL, RSA, Royal Commission, Impact Hub and Architecture and Design Scotland.
- Its theory is taught at Oxford University.
- It is endorsed by some of the world’s thought leaders.
- It has been stress tested over five years.
By backing our work you will both accelerate this change by helping our initiatives to go to places that would otherwise not get them, and become an essential part of a groundbreaking movement.
You can help us raise £20,000 to assist in the production costs of the Compendium and allow us to scale up the movement by spreading our collective knowledge. We will do this by giving away free 1,000 copies of our book of lessons to our worldwide networks, allowing them to distribute to those who would not normally have access to them.
The more we raise the more we will scale up.
The story so far...
Our cities are straining under the pressure of rapid population growth, rising inequality, inadequate infrastructure and failing top-down systems of urban planning, design and delivery. To solve this, we must mobilise people’s latent creativity, harnessing the collective power of many small ideas and actions. This happens whenever people take control over the places they live in, adapting them to their needs and creating environments that are capable of meeting the challenges of the future. When many people do this, it adds up to a fundamental shift: This is what we call MASSIVE SMALL change.
The Massive SMALL Declaration, a universal call for urban change, defines and governs the Massive Small project. The ten declarations outline the thinking, principles and behaviours needed to meet the future challenges of our towns and cities. The Declaration has been endorsed by many of urbanism’s thought leaders throughout the world and is open to all to sign up. You can sign up here.Starting by just getting started:
We are not starting from first principles. There is a tremendous amount of energy out there - thousands of small change projects made by many people worldwide. People are taking initiative, helping each other, housing themselves, using new technology to solve problems, making or repairing things, creating goods and services that people need. People are not waiting around for actions to be taken by the authorities or by established organisations. Rather than demanding that others get things organised, they would rather get going themselves.
Scaling up from small change to Massive SMALL change:
Sadly, all too often this energy is obstructed by our top-down systems, so many small projects fizzle and die or rely on the efforts of a few to keep them alive. Many cannot grow into bigger projects. Often their lessons cannot be reapplied elsewhere. Many just remain ‘micro-distractions while the big players get on with the big stuff’. We want to move from small change to Massive Small change to make a real world impact.
Unleashing Massive Small change:
To do this, we need our top-down systems to reform, working with and releasing this latent energy. We are growing a movement to enable this to happen,more and more, throughout the world. We need a new set of ideas, tools and tactics to help active citizens, civic leaders and urban professionals to embrace this concept and work together in building a viable urban society.
What is the Massive SMALL Compendium?
The compendium is our collection of four compelling projects and initiatives that work together to show how we can learn from others’ efforts and do things differently. We do this by collecting knowledge and sharing experiences from a wide range of sources: from self-help projects, non-government organisations, creative commons, social innovation hubs, peer-to-peer workers, self organised groups, bottom-up initiatives, civic and sharing economy programmes. We assemble all of this within the context of showing how top-down systems can be reformed to allow these small activities to replicate and scale up to make a real world impact. The compendium comprises :
1: A collection of twelve inspirational stories: Make Massive SMALL Change, the book of lessons, is our upcoming publication. Based on real-world experiences, it narrates twelve inspirational stories told through the eyes of imaginary citizens throughout the world, showing governments and people successfully working together to make amazing things happen that none of them could achieve alone.
2: An open-source, online submissions platform: The Massive SMALL Platform allows us to collect knowledge, review it through our networks, catalogue it and share it with others. The best submissions will be published in our sourcebook. Over time, it will develop into a wiki-based platform that will allow more active participation and editing by our online community.
3. A visual framework for building collective action: The Massive Small Framework, our way of rapidly putting the Massive Small project into action, provides a simple model to show how engaged citizens, civic leaders and urban professionals can work together to reconcile the conflicts and potentials that exist between top-down and bottom-up systems. The Framework is in beta mode and ready for testing in the real world.
4. A practical manual of evolving ideas, tools and tactics: The Massive Small Sourcebook focuses on the enabling protocols, conditions and behaviours for delivering Massive Small change. It is practical, accessible, and motivating, showing how others are already doing it. The Sourcebook is not another single-solution rulebook but an open, responsive and collaborative manual that will evolve over time as new knowledge emerges and new challenges arise. Submit, be seen, get heard
Who is it by?The MASSIVE SMALL Project is the work of the Smart Urbanism Research and Development Collaborative, a London-based social value business that curates the 15,000 member Smart Urbanism group on Linkedin. It was established five years ago as an independent, free-thinking, open-source organisation and has access to a wide resource base including researchers, writers, editors, graphic designers, artists and web developers. It focuses on what a better, appropriate ‘new normal’ for urbanism might look like in an increasingly complex, informal and local world.
Our international team
- Andrew Campbell: Operations Director
- Rob Cowan: Editorial Director
- Dan Dubowitz: Creative Director
- Maria Oprescu: Events Coordinator
- Julian Buckle: Social Media and Communications
- Alecia Esson: Events and Communications
- Darshana Gothi Chuan: Project Co-ordinator (India)
- Beatriz Mella: Project Coordinator (UK)
- Cecilia Hernandez: Project Coordinator (USA)
- Chris McCormick: Project Coordinator (Norway)
- Mark Walker: Public Relations, Mark Burway PR
- Jonathan Banister: Strategy and Marketing, Make Happy
- Sophie Paton: Kickstarter Advisor, Make Happy
- Jonathan Rose: Video Production, Motionfish
- Jade Prentice: Kickstarter Relations, Royal Society of Arts
- Richard Brownsdon: Kickstarter Support, Raise Impact at The Hub
- Alan Baxter: Managed workspace, Alan Baxter Associates
So far we have achieved:1: A growing international network. With one of the largest social media networks in the sphere of urban planning, design and delivery; an interactive website with tons of content; and an energetic network of international collaborators, our message is spreading all over of the world.
3: A team who have done it before. Our experienced team has produced and collaborated on a number of pioneering publications - Re:Urbanism, Plandemonium, Massive Small (the operating system for Smart Urbanism), The Dictionary of Urbanism, The Cities Design Forgot to name a few. We have also drafted UK national urban design policy, 'By Design' (CABE/DETR 2000).
4: A driving commitment to deliver. Additionally, we have worked in close collaboration with the highest level of government and in successful change-making organisations across the world. We have proven capabilities, knowledge and judgement to deliver on our promise: To make a relevant and groundbreaking compendium of evolving ideas, tools and tactics for a better urban society, worldwide.
Why Kickstarter?We have been compiling the very best thinking, applications and methods in urban planning, design and delivery for over five years. Now is the time to share this knowledge and experience with the world, so we can all start making positive, Massive Small change today. Crowdfunding is Massive Small at work. It is the collective power of many small ideas and actions to make a big difference. It also gives anyone, big or small a chance to become involved. We want to raise funds but, more importantly, we want to raise the profile of our project, spread the message and build a movement for a better urban society worldwide. Kickstarter can do this for us.
What will you use my money for?We are asking you to help us raise £20,000. We want to get the Make Massive Small Change, our book of lessons, into as many people's hands as possible, and our online materials seen by many more. We will use your investment to:
- Publish 10,000 copies of the Make Massive Small Change book.
- In addition to those given away in the Kickstarter rewards, we will donate a further 1,000 copies of the Make Massive Small Change book to 5-10 selected global network organisations. These organisations can distribute these books to communities across the world, who would not normally have access to the publication. We will ask all our contributors and networks to nominate these organisations and will publish the selection in our progress updates.
- Funding the creation and publishing of The Massive Small Sourcebook.
- Seeding the further development of our online open source platform, which will be the online version of the Sourcebook as we move forward.
- The more you support us the more we can develop our programme for collecting knowledge and sharing experiences.
Our promise to you
To keep up the momentum over the Kickstarter and post-Kickstarter period:
- We will keep our contributors informed at all stages of the process through regular updates, and a fortnightly newsletter, providing valuable insights into production of the publications and the testing of the frameworks.
- We openly encourage submissions to all parts of the Compendium and will put these out to review by our networks.
- We will be publishing abstracts of the books over the period of production so contributors will have a further taste of their content.
- We will be hosting a series of events and will keep all contributors on the invitation list for these events.
RewardsThe Kickstarter rewards are based on three principles that reflect the wider ambitions of the project:
- Growing the movement through spreading the Massive Small Declaration.
- Participating in a sharing and caring culture through giving to those who would normally not have access to it.
- Becoming an urban pioneer and accelerator of the project by being the first to commit.
Jeroen Verhoeven, Self City Brussels
Jason Roberts, Better Block
Kristien Ring, Self Made City
Slum Labs International
Incremental Housing, Julia King Architect
Micro Homes Solutions, mhs Citylab
<More to Follow>
Risks and challenges
We know that in our complex world we always have unexpected outcomes. But you can anticipate many of them and plan for better outcomes, if needed. We think the best ways of dealing with risks and challenges is to do just that.
Derisking the process: To date we have done everything we can do to ensure the Massive Small project is a success and we will deliver on our promises:
• We have an experienced team who have worked on complex projects just like this and have achieved well beyond expectations. We know how to do it!
• We have a valuable band of volunteers worldwide, who have worked within the framework of a well-developed Communications Protocol to spread the word. We know how to say it!
• We have taken expert marketing, public relations and social business development advice from leading experts. We have listened and taken action!
• We have the support of leading organisations; a well-developed social and business media network; and have road tested our ideas in publications, conferences and teaching over the past five years. We have firm foundations.
• We have the technology, resources and know how to scale up our efforts to a wider platform. We have the momentum and are ready to go.
• We have a robust business model that will give sustainability to the project and we are planning other generators of income to scale up the social value business further. We are lean and sound!
Progress vs. Risk: The biggest risk is that we do not finish what we set out to achieve, but this is a minor one. We are too far down the line. All of our four projects and initiatives are in various stages of completion, many just needing the final flourish:
• Make Massive Small Change is written and edited. We have our graphic style sorted. We are ready for final layout prior to printing by Christmas 2015.
• The Massive Small Declaration (already freely available in a beta version) has been circulated for further comments to our thought leaders and networks. We will make further changes and produce final copy for distribution by October 2015.
• The Massive Small Framework (already freely available in a beta version) is ready for stress testing in a variety of situations. It will continually to evolve.
• The Massive Small Sourcebook (already freely available in outline draft) is in the final stages of writing with graphic styles and formats agreed. Final production is planned for mid 2106.
Collective Wisdom: Finally the intellectual property of the Compendium is not vested in any one individual. The work is the work of many. If anything should happen to the old guys, there are plenty of bright young things to take up the reins. In collective wisdom we trust!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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