The Civic Entrepreneur

> 2022 Projects

The following is the brief for the 2021-22 academic year at Diploma 20.

The Civic Entrepreneur

Civic | noun | Relating to a citizen’s agency and sense of belonging in the places we call home.

Civic Entrepreneur | noun | A person who works to animate and transform a place. A civic entrepreneur brings people together from many walks of life, builds common purpose, unlocks latent talents and works to seed enter-prising, imaginative and system-changing initiatives.

Why the world needs Civic Entrepreneurs | rationale |
There is no silver bullet – single initiatives cannot solve problems on their own. We live in an increasingly complex world, requiring not just deep technical expertise but the ability to work across disciplines and diverse groups of people. We need to think globally and act locally. From climate change to mental health and migration to youth unemployment, we are facing a crisis of activation. We need a new profession to unlock the awe-inspiring potential of everything we already have: welcome, the Civic Entrepreneur.

Incubator | practice | In DIP20 we will cultivate an audacity of civic imagination, together with the necessary business acumen, social investment and local mandate to turn bold ideas into action. We will co-operate with communities and become first-hand participants in the processes they have already begun. Our aim is to build collective confidence that radical social leaps are within our grasp. From community land trusts to social proscribing and return on investment, we will engage with the financial and legal instruments that can make transformative ideas a reality. We will be taking risks, attracting investment, trading skills, reopening derelict shops and taking back abandoned land. Above all, we will be forming deep relationships, bringing together unlikely allies to reimagine and remake a neighbourhood for the world.

Selva Gürdoğan, Gregers Tang Thomsen, Jonathan Robinson