Bringing People together to co-design a celebratory event

The CoLab Dudley team was approached on twitter at the end of January 2018 about whether it would be possible to celebrate International Women’s Day in Dudley at gather. Challenges included finding a free to use space and bringing together people to design a celebratory event.

We planned and facilitated a rapid design process so that mums of young children could come together and plan an event in under two hours, with ongoing plans shaping through discussion in a WhatsApp group. We shared the plans and an open invitation to get involved over social media and through Dudley CVS networks which led to another mum joining the WhatsApp planning team.

25 people came together to celebrate International Women’s Day in Dudley.

There were exhibitions of inspirational women on display, from internationally renowned women to local women who have started inspiring projects and platforms.

Women also bought in books which inspire them, and created a playlist of inspiring songs.

Two young people performed songs live during the afternoon. One woman ran a mindfulness workshop.

Children took part in creative activities with their parents.

3 women who had heard of each other via social media were finally presented with the opportunity to discuss their interests and plans to work together in the future.

The whole event was bought together in just two weeks using a simple design process and effective use of social media.

Catherine: I came away thinking what a wonderful thing to have been a small part of and it actually made me think of people (well women) who I’ve had a connection with in whatever capacity throughout my life. I got in touch with my boss from 8 years ago which was a direct result of coming away with a really positive feeling. I learned that people have a huge amount of courage (particularly young people on this occasion). You don’t have to do huge things for them to be brilliant.

Marieanne: I was happy that people enjoyed the event and happy it helped others make connections. I’ve also been reflecting about who I am and what I want to do to help others. I’ve been thinking about what we could do next but in a relaxed no pressure way, which is quite a different way of being for me. I’ve learnt how much impact this event has had on people and this has inspired me to keep things simple in the future so that people can contribute comfortably rather then feeling like they should/have to.

Leonie: Afterwards I felt excited, motivated, feel more confident and focused to follow my vision and further develop my moms group. I would now like to do an event around raising awareness around maternal mental health.


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