The Agency: Monster Stuff

Saturday was Monster. Our Agents gathered in Providence House to cross-pollinate their ideas and experiment with transforming them into different forms. What strange beast would emerge from the operating table?

After warming up with a high-powered game of Oosha we got straight to work breaking down our individual ideas into component parts in order to better understand the make-up of each, its facets and layers and also see what might be synthesised with other ideas. What was peripheral? What was core?

It was at this early point of the session that Teddy changed game, raising the bar for us all to see. In his representation of his idea he drew his estate as he would like to see it, equipped with a Black History Museum, a High-rise Afro-Carribean restaurant, plus more. It was a bit of a breakthrough moment and he actually blew us a way a bit.  Not only did he show us how much he had already absorbed from the process (making a map of the territory and projecting his desires onto it) he really helped show the Agents how big they could think and not to limit their ideas to a singularity, to inflate them and be daring in how they saw the territory and what they could do.

After this the Agents went shopping, looking around at the components of each other’s ideas and taking away 7 peripheral ideas and 1 whole idea to ‘hijack’ and play around with merging with their idea. In this stage Christian’s idea evolved from being about ‘Making unknown talent known’ to ‘making unknown talent known’ while helping people throughout society discover their worth. This was the effect of him absorbing aspect of Renee’s idea and form a Monster idea, and idea that incorporated more than one aim.

Just before lunch the Agents pitched their ideas – quite literally stepping up to the plate – to pitch to Josh, J-Dog and two of the Ebony Clique girls who had dropped in to add a buzz to the venue. It was a great opportunity to see where everyone was in terms of presenting their ideas and start developing those skills. Mohammed (who had only joined the Agency that morning) was particularly impressive with his confidence and showed how much his idea had transformed from being ‘True To Himself’ as his first mind-map that morning into having an outdoor cinema in Battersea.

After lunch – in which time Osmond dropped in to tell everyone about Life’s What U Make It, inspiring all the Agents in the process- we started working in small groups. In their groups the agents continued merging their ideas and playing around with being as fantastical and far-reaching as they wanted to be, still riding the wave of Teddy’s audacious Pyramid stadium (providing an awareness of black consciousness as well as sports facilities) people started to really push the boat out. When everyone presented once more, near the end of the session one of the groups (Renee, Sydney, Zack & Mohammed) had drawn a new multipurpose, super-inclusive centre, taller then the Shard called One. One had provisions for just about everything you could want including a shelter for people who had nowhere to live and sports facilities, beauty treatment wings and a cinema. Teddy & Tawana had made (within a pyramid mind map) a whole 12-week educational programme that took place in York Gardens and Stanley and various sites in the territory. Charlene, Fumi, Kayon and Christian had created a new Monster talent scouting event-series that saw competitors responding to social issues and themes set them by the judges who marked contestants not just on their performance but also on how well they responded to the themes.

This sharing took us into our 5 cards in which each agent filled them out in relation to their Monster, jotting down ideas to research and networks they needed to investigate in order to know how to make their Monster a reality and examine which components of their inflated being might be realisable.

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