Find out why social impact platforms need help from the Public Sector
This week we exhibited at the Cycling and Walking Innovations in the Oval, a first for Go Jauntly as we’d never exhibited before! As an event commissioned by the Department for Transport we felt like this would be a good opportunity to showcase Go Jauntly, spread the word about Happiness Outdoors and meet some like minded businesses and visitors.
With exhibition space to walk around and a timetable of talks throughout the day, it was a very busy day for the team. Hana gave a talk on ‘The Future of Urban Walking’, representing walking, in a very cycling-dominated day.
Although it was very cycle orientated, we were able to meet lots of wonderful people also interested in promoting being outdoors and walking. A particular highlight was when Jesse Norman MP did a quick walk around before his talk and stopped to have a look at the app. With a few walks in Herefordshire, his constituency, he was pretty impressed with the apps offering and said he: “loved” it.
Our other favourites of the day included Voncrank, Ofo and Obike. Combining a support for local business, getting outdoors and repairs, it’s people like Voncrank who are moving cycling onward, more accessible and sustainable. Ofo and Obike are dockless cycling applications, making hiring and using bikes even easier and cheaper than it is at the moment for those who can’t or don’t own bikes and want to get around on wheels. Look out for them appearing on your streets in the next few months!
Of course we do hope this is a positive move to more sustainable transport, and that companies such as Ofo (who have been in the news recently for massively over supplying bikes which far outstrip demand) will learn quickly and pivot to avoid unnecessary waste, put their bikes to good use without flooding the market and reuse and recycle whenever possible. Using all of this data to understand people, transport, travel and sustainability will help inform smarter technology for smarter cities and as, Al Gore said at the Websummit in Lisbon, let’s all join the sustainable revolution now.
@Voncrank: “We may be cyclists but @gojauntly are making a great case for walking. Check them out! #voncrank #walking”
@jenny_wiles from Living Streets was happy about the inclusion of some walking related content in the talks: “Here’s @SutchFun telling us about @gojauntly, “I’m here to talk about urban walking... and non-virtual reality!” #cwi2017”
Some contentious points were raised as well, such as by Mark Strong aka @bikebrighton:
“I'm not trying to be cynical, but a lot of pitches sound like "Use our app/gizmo/idea & we'll get more people cycling (oh, & can we have some money please)" #CWI2017”
He continued: “Eg a lot of the ideas for applications to get data rely on self-selection of users to support eg via kickstarter. But that just reinforces predominance of well-off, younger, fitter, mostly male, white people cycling.”
Diversity and inclusivity was barely touched upon throughout the day, and not something that was very visible if you were to go by those attending. It’s a call to action, what can we as a start up do to engage people from all walks of life like we aim to do? We want an inclusive platform, the app has been created not for walking pros but for anyone who has the slightest inclination to get outdoors but is unsure where to go for what’s there for them.
In terms of Mark’s point on asking for funding… when there are limited funds available to those looking to make a difference in the world of cycling and walking it can be hard not to use a platform such as this to ask for what you need, to those who make the decisions. Especially when you’re self-funded, like ourselves. We want to bring, Go Jauntly to the masses and we need the powers that be to help us as it’s not something we can realistically keep self-funding ourselves, especially when you consider that our mission to create a movement, which helps people, local communities, the environment and society as a whole, it makes sense we talk to people who can help us scale so that we are able to make more social impact.
Our top two takeaways from the Walking and Cycling Innovations event and exhibition would have to be…
Dress to impress! Having a leafy green stand that stood out from the crowd definitely helped us out when you’re competing for attention. Come ready to chat. The best part of the day was all the people we met which meant introducing them to Go Jaunty or telling them more and thinking about how they could be involved or how we could help solve some of their challenges.
Get involved! Are there talks you can contribute to or questions you want to ask the right people? Use the opportunity as much as possible. Look at the guest list, aim your questions at the right people.