It got cold outside – but rather than hibernate under a blanket (although it sure is tempting), we are working on taking our Walkshops in new directions.
‘Stepping ahead’ was the motto of the Walk21 conference, the biggest event around the topic of walking worldwide. It was held in October in Vienna – the city where meshworks has found its new home, and also one of the cities with the highest quality of life worldwide. And to top it all off, we were lucky enough to take part – after submitting our Walkshops idea to their Walking Visionaries Awards programme, we won the Online Voting Prize in the Walking 2.0 and Future Mobility category (thanks again to everyone who gave us their click/vote!).
There was lots to do – apart from participating in Urban Labs and the conference’s own walkshops and the awards ceremony, we took part in a Speed Dating session at city hall, where we got a chance to tell people more about the meshworks walkshops and where our ideas are going next.
So what, exactly, are Walkshops?
Based on a number of variables, e.g. how many people participate and which topic(s) they are interested in, we equip participants with a virtual toolbox – filled with games and exercises to explore the questions they have brought with them as well as the urban space around them. The exercises can come from design sciences, systemics, human dynamics, coaching and mindfulness.
Apart from this toolbox, we introduce participants to exciting local ideas and businesses, ranging from the hottest startups in town to traditional companies who have been successful over long periods of time, sometimes for centuries.
By tying the walks up with historic facts of interest, inspirational stories from the past and present, modern innovative projects and unusual concepts, Walkshops not only open up people’s perspectives, but also put the respective city on the map.
Curious yet? There’s more – our main idea for the future of Walkshops is to offer an app to make the advantages of Walkshops available to everybody.
This digital tool will let you access exercises and games centred around the topics you care about. When using the app, you will be able to share specific walks you have been taking and take advantage of other users’ experiences. The digital platform also provides an opportunity to feature exciting startups, galleries, museums, social projects and innovative businesses that shape a city’s distinctive energy. Users will be able to create their own itineraries and pin exercises and ideas. Thus, the map within the app becomes a map you draw yourself, creating unique experiences that foster real change.
Also published on Medium.