Contributed by: The Meraki team
During the month of June, the Meraki team created a catalog of potential Meraki boxes and shared it with almost 40 persons served and support workers. Through creating and sharing this first iteration of boxes we hoped to learn what helps people choose which Meraki box to receive and what types of boxes people are interested in. We learned a few things in this process and plan to incorporate them into Meraki as it evolves and moves forward.
What we learned and questions we seek to answer:
- Having a contact at museums and other community locations: By providing support workers and persons served a contact point in community, Meraki can make new spaces more welcoming.
- New activities bring unpredictability: There can be worry about how community reacts if things go south. How can Meraki help make it okay if something goes wrong?
- The challenge of choice: Choice is hard. Persons served are often under a time crunch to make a decision, and sometimes it’s easier to limit choice in order to speed it up. How can we help build both support workers and persons’ served choice making muscles?
- Lack of resources to plan and complete new experiences: Meraki has the potential to supply all necessary resources for persons served and support workers to complete a new experience and connect with community in new ways together.
- Visualizing Meraki boxes and how they can be used: Rather than limit understanding of box offers to a standard catalog, we will bring the catalog to life with visuals of how each box can be used.
What’s Next for Meraki?
The other thing we learned over the last couple months is that we (the two person Meraki team) need help coming up with ideas for the boxes. We spent hours researching and mocking up ten boxes for the catalog we shared in June and then we thought “wait a second, we are in Vancouver, a city full of interesting people doing interesting things”. And boom, the idea of the Meraki Muse was born. A Muse is anyone with a passion, interest or hobby that is interested in finding new ways to turn the thing they do into an experience others can delight in. We’ve been hitting the streets for the last two weeks pitching to small businesses, artists and weirdos to find our first Meraki Muses. Interest has been high and excitement is building, but we are still seeking a few more! Do you have an interesting passion, interest or hobby? Check out the Meraki website for more info and fill out the super short and easy Muse application.
Through many sessions of brainstorming and endless idea generating, we came up with a solution that would give people the chance to try new things and gain exposure to a wider array of novel experiences. We also wondered if we could generate something that would give people more meaning, agency and control in their lives. In you haven’t noticed – we are a group of dreamers. We continued to entertain the idea that this magical “thing” could also be used as a tool for connecting with the community.