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London Lab #2, Tuesday 19th April

London went LOPO again this week! We got tips on how to ‘think like an engineer’, while getting involved with two great projects, one on community bread-making and the other on developing a yearbook for the next 50 years.

Chris Baker-Brian, the co-founder of BBOXX, shared his tips how to turn an idea with social impact into reality, when you think like an engineer rather than a politician. He trained as an electrical and electronics engineer and quickly realised the vast potential in using off-grid solar systems to provide access to clean power in remote places. He’s now leading the solar revolution with BBOXX and their goal to provide 20 million people across Africa and the developing world with solar power by 2020. Truly inspirational, world-changing stuff!

Then it was up to the rest of us to get into action, by applying the energy and diverse skills we have as a bunch of optimists, to some brilliant local projects.

Up first was The Honest Loaf, an early stage social enterprise, set up by Graham Penn. Graham is a fifth generation baker with a huge heart, who’s passionate about making bread with local people and local ingredients in local premises, like school canteens at weekends that don’t normally get used. He came to the first London LOPO Lab and wanted to get our help in figuring out what the possibilities are in taking The Honest Loaf to the next level, by possibly franchising the model.

Up next, we had The Almanac of the Future, a pioneering project to map the future over the next 50 years, involving 15 and 65 year olds. Devised by Annette Mees, who’s best known for putting the audience at the heart of theatre performances, with the Almanac she wants to put the future at the heart of the 50 years between these two groups to harness the ingenuity of their different perspectives. We’re excited to see what they come up with.

We also had an update on positive news and another letter to the future from our lovely LOPOer, Paul.

A huge thank you to all the London LOPOers who took part. Your generosity and enthusiasm is completely amazing, awe-some and awe-inspiring! Don’t forget, we’re here to help you get into action with your world-changing projects and ideas – big or small. So get in touch if you have something you’d like to bring to the community.

With LOPO London love xx