10. How does it feel after giving a day?

Give a Day was born as a response to floods in the city of Carlisle that left people stranded without food, or temporarily homeless. Rebecca Solnit’s book A Paradise Built in Hell,1 charts civil society responses to disasters (natural or man-made) over 100 years, disasters like the San Francisco earthquake, Hurricane Katrina, and 9/11. Solnit…

9. We not I

The work of Robert Putnam and Shaylyn Romney Garrett1 resonated with the design team. They used socio-demographic data to chart change in U.S. society from 1850 to 2020. From 1850 to around 1925, the U.S. was an ‘I’ society, fiercely individualistic, dog eat dog, winner takes all. From 1925 to 1965 it was a ‘We’…

8. Connecting people who wouldn’t otherwise meet

Young and old. Working people and retired people. Working people and unemployed people. People who have their own business with people who work for others. People working in health with people from the arts industry. People who have a disability with people who are fighting addiction. People who work in public institutions with people who…

5. Contexts that constrain, and contexts that empower

The first meeting of people interested in doing Give a Day took place in November 2019. People came from Ayr, Dungannon, Falkirk, Kendall, Longtown, and Oxford to a two-day convening in Carlisle. People came under their own steam, and stayed with local people, an indication of the interest in and commitment to the idea. There…

2. How we learn

Ratio is the learning partner. We take a radically different approach to design and discovery. We call it relational learning. We design with people who will use an innovation in the place where they will use it. In our work, data is not a statement. It is used as a feedback loop to help those…

1. Introduction

Give a Day is a ‘pure’ civil society activity, meaning it is not owned by any individual or organisation. It brings together people with ideas about how their community might be improved; with people who give a day to bring these ideas to fruition; and local businesses that give resources or specialist staff time. People…

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