The design group of potential Give a Day leaders had to decide how to communicate the idea to people and places around the country.

We created a mythical person in a small town in Norfolk who would get something, a leaflet, a video, an assistant; something that would allow her and her friends to lead Give a Day as well as it has been done in Carlisle. We assumed, for the sake of the work, that we would never meet the person in the small Norfolk town.

(Ironically, now the work is well underway, it is possible that this thought experiment will become real. People around the country now have materials that may allow them to do Give a Day without any of us in the design team knowing they have done so).

To turn this idea into a practical task, we drew on a formula used by Ratio to scale other relational innovations, such as Street to Scale and BD_Collective’s network of networks of civil society organisations.

 The formula has three elements:

  • A box that contains everything needed do Give a Day without any external support — The box is a metaphor. It could be a van, or a website or an app. The point is it contains everything needed to use the innovation without any external help.
  • Avon Lady— Another metaphor. The Avon Lady need not be a woman! The idea comes from Avon cosmetics. These came in a box. They could arrive in the post and be applied without any extra help. Or they could be delivered by an ‘Avon Lady.’ She would ring the door bell—‘ding dong’. The emblematic show of the product and the tag line ‘Avon calling.’ The Avon Lady could deliver or she could be invited into the house to give advice on how to make the most of what came in the cosmetics box. We asked, who might people getting the box say more about Give a Day?
  • Stories— about the world as it is not how we would like it or imagine it to be. Stories not to attract funding but to inspire people in Give a Day, places to contribute projects, give up time or resources, and feel better connected to their community, town or city.