Small is... Festival 2012: Big success!

The Small is… Festival 2012 brought together students, experts and families for a fantastic weekend of stimulating ideas, discussions and activities. Hosted at Practical Action’s grounds in Bourton-on-Dunsmore, this year’s theme tackled the global energy crisis through a series of debates, workshops and lectures. 

Highlights included Inspirational talks from Karambu Ringera who talked about her experiences working with women with HIV/AIDS and the importance of empowering communities. Trevor Baylis OBE, inventor of the wind up radio, spoke about the value of invention and creativity in society today and Adam Hart Davis presented some small scale solutions to coping with climate change.

The Small is… Festival 2012 brought together students, experts and families for a fantastic weekend of stimulating ideas, discussions and activities. Hosted at Practical Action’s grounds in Bourton-on-Dunsmore, this year’s theme tackled the global energy crisis through a series of debates, workshops and lectures.

Highlights included Inspirational talks from Karambu Ringera who talked about her experiences working with women with HIV/AIDS and the importance of empowering communities. Trevor Baylis OBE, inventor of the wind up radio, spoke about the value of invention and creativity in society today and Adam Hart Davis presented some small scale solutions to coping with climate change.

Over 40 workshops were held over the weekend, giving festival-goers the chance to get their hands dirty! From learning how to make a simple low-lift hand pump to building your own rocket stove, the workshops were packed with people wanting to learn about new technologies and actually make something themselves. Notable workshops included the Rope Washer Pump workshop hosted by EWB Manchester and supported by Jem Stansfield from Bang Goes that Theory, the Micro-AD Bio-digester demonstration from Methanogen and the two day Jungle Camp build project hosted by Arkitrek.

The Small is… Festival also saw the final of our PitchUp competition. Finalists pitched their ideas to win an internship and £1000 cash prize to be put towards further developing their idea. The winning idea ‘Charity Change’ was chosen by judging panel: Wendy Stephenson (CEO, Converging World), Ras Patel (Managing Editor of Appropriate Technology Magazine), Trevor Baylis and Jem Stansfield.

This year the festival expanded in all directions. Hosting more talks, debates and workshops than ever before! Described by a workshop leader as the ‘one of the best events of the year’ Small is… has managed to grow and change and yet still have that intimate feel that enables people to meet, discuss and share their ideas.