What are Qubes?
Qubes are incubated citizen-driven collaborations, whose point is to bring together people and organisations across sectors, who share a passion to improve their neighbourhoods and the lives of the people who live in them. Citizens work with the other team members as peers, setting the agenda and co-create solutions to their most pressing issues, often addressing the more intractable problems, particularly amongst the vulnerable and excluded in their communities.
See the agile co-production section for more details on our approach.
Born out of coal-face experience
Over the last four years, inQube has worked with a wide range of citizens, including probation service users trying to get their lives back on track, carers and their cared for, gypsy travellers, members of the BME communities and older people as well as those helping them including peer mentors, probation staff, education, training and employment organisations, council, housing, NHS, police, universities, drug companies and a wide of third sector organisations including Citizens Advice Bureau, volunteering agencies, homeless charities, alcohol and drug charities, faith groups and even a premiership rugby club.
Hand in hand social and technology innovation
From the beginning, we recognised that technology had an extremely important enabling role to play and out of these collaborations, our technology partner pumpco created the citizen platform and a set of tremendously flexible technology building blocks, with which they can assemble extremely rapidly (i.e. in weeks) and refine the specific technology tools each collaboration co-designs.
See the technology section for more details
We currently have several Qubes working directly with citizens in their neighbourhoods in several city and region-wide projects in Cardiff, Leeds and Northumbria in partnership with council, housing, social services, health, community rehabilitation (criminal justice), and a wide variety of third sector, academic and commercial organisations, as well as charities and specialist social innovation and community development agencies. We have also just kicked off a similar, broad-based collaboration in Bristol and a couple of collaborations in Cornwall.
As well as partners specific to one collaboration, we also recognised that we needed a few strategic partners, with whom we would work on a regular basis.
Our first strategic partners was the Young Foundation, which is a social innovation specialist with a particular focus on inequality and which shares our passion to get on with things, rather than just talking about them.
We are currently enjoying working with Young Foundation in our older-people focused collaboration in Cardiff.
The Schumacher Institute is an independent ‘think-and-do’ tank with a particular focus on sustainability and reducing inequality, which helps people prepare for a future in which disruptive change will happen with increasing speed, and will demand a high degree of adaptability. The institute builds on the ideas expressed in the works of E. F. Schumacher, particularly appropriate technology at the right scale, local actions, peace and non-violent approaches, simplicity and the sense that all people matter.
Smart Hamlet is a joint collaborative initiative marrying smart homes technology with life time design principles to build inclusive communities.
Often the most difficult part of doing something new is taking the first step and, as a result, a lot of good ideas don’t get off the starting blocks.
To get started with a Qube, you don’t have to have all the answers or professional qualifications, you just need to have an idea, which you feel passionate enough about to put in the effort to try doing something about it yourself and a desire to find others who are able and willing to contribute.You also don’t need to live in a place, where there is already a Qube – they all started somewhere and someone needed to take the first step – it could be you!
First step is to get in contact with inQube – we only need a few details from you and only takes a moment.
Look forward to hearing from you 🙂