About the dialogue

What is George’s Ideas Lab? 

A new approach to sharing and discussing ideas to make Bristol a better place.  Anybody who lives, works or visits Bristol may register on the Ideas Lab website and suggest an idea.  Organisations and businesses are also welcome to get involved.  You can also comment and rate other people’s ideas.  The Ideas Lab will run as a 6 month pilot. 
NB: The site is closed as feedback is being prepared.

What sort of ideas can I submit?  

  • The idea needs to be focussed on making Bristol a better place to live, work or play
  • It needs to be something new, not something the city is already committed to e.g. An Arena
  • The idea can be big or small – something citywide or focussed on improving a particular neighbourhood.  Sometimes a small, novel idea can make a big difference.
  • Ideas which help the council to save money or do things differently are particularly welcome
  • The idea needs to be realistic about how it could be funded – particularly, in the current climate where the council needs to save a further £90 million over the next three years.  An idea for a new tram, as much as we want one as well!, paid for by the council is just not going to happen in the current climate!
  • All ideas will be moderated against some sensible house rules  

Bloomberg's Mayor's Challenge - Bristol's entry chosen from this lab

The Mayor and the Bristol Bloomberg Challenge team would like to say thank you for all the great ideas you have submitted for this challenge.

We can now confirm, having reviewed the ideas against the criteria and further explored some of the most promising, the Mayor has selected the ‘Good Food Markets’ idea  http://georgesideaslab.dialogue-app.com/ideas/good-foodmarkets  as the one he would like to represent Bristol. Congratulations to the team that put this idea forward.  We have worked closely with them to finalise the submission and enter it in to the competition.

The healthy food accessibility theme came through very strongly from lots of you and is something the Mayor is keen to support here in Bristol as well as recognising it as a common issue in many other places.

The Good Food Markets idea supports the whole system; from collective growing across the city, providing a route to market, accessible healthy food and learning and reducing social isolation and therefore has potentially many benefits.

The Mayor could only put forward one idea for this challenge, but we do thank all contributors who submitted ideas. Many of the ideas had great potential but did not quite meet the Bloomberg criteria. Further thought will be given to whether any of the ideas could still be supported locally. 

Your ideas for Bristol 2015 European Green Capital

To celebrate being European Green Capital in 2015, we are looking to stage a yearlong inspiring programme of events in that will involve everyone in the city. We’d love to hear your ideas about what you would like to see happen in Bristol to celebrate the year of 2015 – in your community, on your street, or across the whole city.  

Tag your ideas with Green Capital after they've been moderated

Phases of the ideas lab and feedback

During the 6 month pilot of the ideas lab, it will pass through a number of phases to ensure people have ample opportunity to suggest ideas and encourage the rating and discussion of ideas already in the lab.  This approach is needed due to the number of ideas the lab is receiving, to reduce the duplication of ideas and to help the council and the Mayor choose which ones to take a closer look at.    

  • Ideas collection phase 1 - Mid November until Jan 6th 2014
  • Reflection - Rate and comment ideas collected - Christmas 2013 to end March 2014
  • Feedback - the council and Mayor give feedback on the more popular ideas, most discussed or other ones we spot with potential - May 2014.  The council will need to discuss some of the ideas with service managers and other organisations and to think about the practicalities of implementation of some ideas.   
  • Final Feedback and lab evaluation - Late 2014

We will give overall feedback and publish the lab's evaluation.  The purpose of the lab is to find practical ideas we can put into practice and so, hopefully, depending on the quality of ideas submitted , we'll also be able to announce the ideas to be taken forward. 

We can’t promise to give feedback on every idea, but we are keenly watching the site for fresh thinking and ideas we can act on. 

Ideas for European Green Capital will also be reviewed by the team working on this project.

What will happen to my idea?

Your idea will be publicly visible on the site and rated and discussed by others.  People often suggest ways an idea can be improved or perhaps you overlooked something another contributor is knowledgeable about.  You can join in with the discussion about your idea or others.  The council or its partners may join the discussion and help inform the public debate.   


Ideas and comments will be reviewed by a council officer against our moderation policy – sensible rules to ensure a civil place for debate.  

More about the pilot

'Ideas crowd sourcing' is about a community of online users suggesting, discussing ideas and rating ideas on a public website.  It's this concept that is being used in George’s Ideas Lab.  This process has already been used by Bristol City Council and local and central government in many different countries.  It’s also being increasingly used by the private sector – Barclays bank is the latest example. 

Many benefits could come from crowd sourcing, including better solutions developed collaboratively and greater public understanding of the issues.  Of course, all dependent on how many people get involved and how it's run.