PROTOTYPE – The Ideas Bank

What is it?

The Ideas Bank is a prototype collaboration between New Urban Orientations and Curious Co.. Through The Ideas Bank, we hope to produce a model of engagement that assists creative, inclusive, ecological and community-oriented ideas to flourish. We bring together experience in creating high-quality theatrical entertainment, audience engagement, social research skills, place-informed practice and a desire to promote positive change. We also have a sense of fun and playfulness. We prototyped The Ideas Bank at the EMERGE Showcase week, where we were inviting participants to engage in a number of ways:

  1. Investing an idea.
  2. Donating an idea.
  3. Posting or exchanging an idea on The Ideas Exchange.

The Ideas Bank is not a new concept, and has been trialled in various ways by companies, community organisations, and global networks to stimulate and encourage innovative ideas which can offer solutions to problems, improve the performance and communication of an organisation, or generate new ways of thinking about a particular issue. In our conception, ‘staff’ at the The Ideas Bank can add value to an idea by probing it, giving evidence based suggestions to improve the likelihood of positive impacts, and providing practical information (contacts, funding opportunities, signposting similar initiatives).


The Ideas Bank prototype came about as a result of discussions during research carried out for The Bath Challenge Project. Many of the conversations I had been having revolved around the idea of value, and how alternatives to economic value could be generated and sustained. This research intersected with my previous work on people’s relationships with place, and exploring the possibilities of shifting harmful attitudes. Organisations are already pursuing triple bottom line frameworks, which aim to account for social, environmental (or ecological) and financial impact. As well as this, collaboration has been a central theme of discussions around the future of work and communities. This underpins the idea that exploring relations between different people, organisations and places is important for understanding their strengths and weaknesses. However, whilst relational thinking is very much in vogue, it remains difficult for individuals, micro-enterprises, employees and organisations to make their ideas reality, especially those who are not already established in their line of work, or who are hoping to transfer from one discipline or profession into another. The Ideas Bank is a response to this issue. It is oriented around four core values – Creativity, Community, Ecology and Inclusivity – with dashes of playfulness and critical thinking added for good measure. It is an experiment, and we’re excited about where it could end up!

If you would like to get involved in The Ideas Bank, please email:

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