Discovery Lab Beta: Berlin Launch
A few weeks back, we announced our partnership with THE CHANGER to bring our Discovery Lab Beta program across the Atlantic and the response was huge. We received a ton of applications from different organizations who wanted help with their projects. We selected the three that we felt we could help move the dial on the most, for the organizations that we think have the best opportunity to make a huge impact.
First, we met with Polis180, a grassroots think tank for European and foreign policy. When they first reached out to us, Polis180 was in the early stages of planning a photo gallery exhibition, which they will be presenting in conjunction with the International Centre for Policy Studies in Kiev, Ukraine. The exhibition, titled “Beyond the Protocol: Women and International Politics in Germany and Ukraine,” features portraits of prominent female diplomats and will highlight the role of women in foreign policy and diplomacy, and how the issues of peace and security affect women disproportionately. The Polis180 team had a great idea and a powerful story to tell, but they were stuck when it came down to how to tell it in an innovative and interactive way.
For the workshop, we helped Polis180 firm up their messaging around the exhibition and think about how to effectively get that message across to their audience. We spoke at length about ways for the audience to interact with the exhibit online, like assigning each woman portrayed in the show a graphic, hashtag, or URL, allowing people to tweet or share the link and bringing more attention to the project. We also outlined ways Polis180 could structure the exhibit, such as dividing each room or section of the gallery into different issues, or by having a timeline wrap around the perimeter of the exhibit as a way to organize the portraits. Through considering approaches like these, Polis180 felt that their exhibition would better get to the heart of the story they hope to tell, and they could have a greater overall impact.
Tribal Wisdom Foundation
Later on, we sat down with the team from the Tribal Wisdom Foundation (TWF), a young organization on a mission to record the knowledge and practices found in oral traditions around the world, and preserve them in the digital age. TWF was in the midst of designing their first website as a proof-of-concept, and wanted Radish Lab’s help coming up with innovative ways to organize their content, and advice on how to get the ball rolling.
Before the workshop, Radish Lab compiled a huge list of nonprofits and companies that collect and categorize wisdom in order to inspire the TWF team. Once we sat down with TWF, we went over different ways TWF could record and catalogue oral histories, and brainstormed different layouts for their website. We also went over potential ways to make the project more interactive, like allowing users to submit content, and integrating social media. Finally, we shared a few ideas for updating TWF’s visual identity to make it stand out as a unique organization. As a nonprofit in its early stages of growth, the Tribal Wisdom foundation will be better equipped to approach new challenges as they come up, and they’ve got some fresh ideas for an exciting and moving project.
Finally, we met with metacollect. Metacollect’s mission is to build a central repository of data and information to establish a strong, collaborative network of organizations working with refugees in Europe. Their vision is to create a network that allows organizations to better share information, combine resources, and collaborate to find support for projects. We were wowed by metacollect’s energy and the potential their project had to offer, and they wanted our help to develop a more effective outreach strategy.
We sat down with the metacollect team to get them thinking about different ways to bring attention to their project. We suggested that they focus on targeting specific communities on Reddit and Slack, or that they design an eye-catching data-visualization to build buzz around the project. We also had them consider different ways they could present their new site and how they could address such complicated issues to make them more accessible to laypeople and develop even greater interest. With such a data-driven project, it can be easy to lose focus and forget to use your data to tell a story, but after meeting with us, metacollect is well on their way to reaching their audience with an impactful message.
We’re thrilled to have had the opportunity to launch our Discovery Lab Beta workshops in Berlin with these three awesome organizations. Each one has an inspiring mission, a project with a ton of potential, and great opportunity for the future. If you have a creative project that you’d like Radish’s eyes and ears on, apply for Discovery Lab Beta.