Rural Chiasma 2014 – Sustaining Rural Scotland

21 - 23 October 2014

£20k Innovation Event – ‘Sustaining Rural Scotland’

Chiasma Date: 4pm, Tuesday 21st October –until 5pm Thursday 23rd October 2014

Location/Accommodation: New Lanark Mill Hotel, Mill No.1 New Lanark Mills, Lanark ML11 9DB

Cost: 2.5 days committed engagement (food and accommodation provided, and reasonable travel expenses reimbursed).

Closing Date for Applications: 5pm, Monday 1st September 2014

With the acceleration of climate change and increased pressure on our planet’s natural resources, raising awareness and innovating around environmental sustainability has never been more urgent. More consumers now than ever before have direct experience of climate change and the pressures on the natural environment. They are calling for better protection against flooding, wise use and re-use of natural or local assets and food security. However, whilst consumers are asking these questions they still find it difficult to translate their beliefs into action. To help address these issues, we see innovative technologies, services, models and incentives emerging e.g. in lifecycle management and the circular economy or in open data for energy, agriculture and transport. There are also innovation opportunities for supporting consumer values by removing barriers (such as conflicting attitudes and responsibilities, lack of time, trust or space) for pro environmental action. It is clear that we all have a role to play and there is still a great deal that needs to be done to protect livelihoods, diversify businesses, create living communities and our industry as a whole from the impacts of climate change.

This residential event will take place over two and a half days at the award-winning UNESCO World Heritage site at New Lanark Mill, Scotland. In keeping with the radical industrial and social reforms that took place at the site, it will focus on the changing environment of rural Scotland, exploring how best to reconcile the impact of climate change with a viable business option. Chiasma will provide an opportunity for rural businesses, entrepreneurs and retailers to converge with designers, technologists and academics to identify and create potential solutions to support climate action for rural Scotland.

Given the breadth of the changes, this Chiasma will unpack a range of issues, exploring areas that offer opportunities such as:

ICT: people and businesses are starting to produce and track their own data, for example environmental data to measure their carbon footprint or using data driven services e.g. smart agriculture or monitoring product life cycle. There is an opportunity for using data in new ways and for tools that support early warning, awareness, risk, participation and decision making for resource management.

COMMUNITY ASSET INITIATIVES: people and communities are applying innovative new approaches to utilise natural resources such as land and environmental factors e.g. sun, wind, water, as well as assets such as buildings and allotments. People themselves are building upon local knowledge, values and skills that can offer scope for new thinking.

SYSTEMS AND SERVICES FOR SHARING RESOURCES: new models are emerging as people are building sustainability into everyday life such as car sharing, smart tourism, and making the most of Scotland’s natural ecosystem such as exploring best practice in land use, consumption, waste stream management and recycling. There are significant opportunities in advance of new EU targets and Scottish legislation for 2020.

These trends present opportunities for change and this call encourages innovators from rural Scotland to address climate action and impacts in compelling and useful ways that help citizens, businesses, and communities make smart choices in the face of climate change. We are looking to bring together SME’s, academics, scientists, technologists, and environmental enthusiast to engage in disruptive thinking to create innovative new solutions.

Design in Action has allocated up to £20,000 (per idea) and a range of support services to prototype ideas arising from the Chiasma process. See the ‘Business Opportunity’ section of the Call for Participants/Terms of Engagement document for more details.

To apply to attend the Chiasma, please complete the following form:

This Chiasma is now closed. If you have any questions related to this Chiasma, please contact us.