In Your Network - Andrew Cribb
1) Please give a brief explanation of what it is you do and why?
I'm the co-founder of the charity 3Space which works with landlords to enable charities, non profits and social enterprises to use otherwise empty property for temporary projects free of charge. This regeneration solution provides incentives to the property industry, facilitates an immediate impact in the community and sustainably uses a resource that we already have available. At the same time it provides an opportunity for charities and social enterprise to start projects, test ideas and reach new audiences. This stems from my frustration with working in regeneration and planning policy for many years. The same models to deliver regeneration have been used time and time again – models that are lengthy, overly bureaucratic and rarely deliver the on-the-ground benefit that was initially envisaged.
2) What did you join the Fellowship for?
I'm interested in social organisations and the value they provide to the community but also in economics, business, entrepreneurship and innovation. Linking all of this together is important to me and appears to be at the centre of Fellow activity.
3) In what capacity do you think you could contribute to Fellowship/society?
I hope to provide social organisations with a low risk and low cost vehicle to test ideas which they have to help their local community. There is a structural change occurring in the way we shop, mostly due to the impact of the internet, and as a result the number of empty shops is increasing. Recession or no recession this trend looks set to continue. Alternative uses such as community education, entrepreneurship incubation and drop in advice will need to be found for these empty properties. I believe social and community organisations can be at the centre of this shift and develop new niche markets for these spaces. Charities, community groups and social enterprises are unique in that they need the rich interactions that can't be found on-line - making them a natural fit for the future of our high streets and town centres.
4) What would you change in society given the chance?
I would like to see Corporate Social Responsibility activities as an integral part of every business function. I’m not talking about painting the fence of the community centre but mutually beneficial activities that are part of, for example, the supply chain or brand strategy for businesses both big and small.
5) What recent bit of news have you heard which inspires you?
The eulogy for Steve Jobs written by his sister - published in The New York Times.
6) What did you learn last week?
That 30% of the shops in the UK will become obsolete.
7) Tell us about another interesting Fellow you have spoken to.
Dan Thompson. Dan was creating interesting community projects in empty shops long before I even knew it was possible.
8) What would you like to connect with Fellows about? Please tell us if there is anything you would like from other Fellows
I would like to connect with Fellows who are involved with or know charities and social organisations which need space for temporary projects. I’m particularly interested in making connections with organisations which have innovative proposals that will maximise the engagement with the wider community. This is the reason we have launched High Street Hijack. It is a competition where a charity or social enteprise with the most creative and innovative idea will be given £1500 along with free use of a 3Space property. Entries close on Thursday 10 November so there is still time to enter your proposal and I encourage you to apply. More information is available at www.highstreethijack.org orwww.3space.org