Report: The Alternative UK in... Eastbourne (with 38 Degrees Live)

We're starting to prepare the ground for our political "laboratories", by testing some of their elements in public events with partner organisations.

On 22nd March 2017, we joined up with the new public engagement arm of 38 Degrees - 38 Degrees Live. We were asked to help them prototype (by facilitating, presenting and curating) a vibrant meeting of their members (and others), in the beautiful All Saints Chapel in Eastbourne.

For A/UK, we were regarding this as a "mini-lab" - notes on the way to a more developed process.

We were joined by spoken-word star Vanessa Kisuule, who performed "Identity Jenga" at the very opening (see a version of that below, from 2014) along with other beautiful work from her volume Joyriding The Storm:

We also kicked off events by adapting one of our favourite current facilitation exercises - the "divide and connect" from TV2 Denmark's "All That We Share" video - for the Eastbourne audience. Watch the original, and see below it what we asked 38'ers to "divide and connect" themselves around:

Eastbourne Version of "All That We Share"

  • Who is a member of a political party? (divide to each side of the hall)
  • Who spends at least a day a month volunteering? (if so, move to the centre)
  • Who likes to dance? (all divide to each side of the hall)
  • Who actually goes dancing at least once a month? (if so, move to centre)
  • Who is feeling optimistic about next five years (divide to each side of the hall)
  • Over the last year, who has thought about emigrating? (if so move to the centre)
  • If you could live twice as long, but in good health, would you? (divide to each side of the hall)
  • Who would say they have saved a life? (if so, move to the centre)
  • Who getting enough fun in their life?  (divide to each side of the hall) 
  • Who thinks we should have a lot more time in our life to ask these kinds of questions? (if so move to the centre)
  • We then heard some "lightning strike" presentations from men's support group A Band of Brothers, Eastbourne Foodbank, and a local green energy project. 

These presentations were framed within our developing "I - We - World" model (see slides below) 

We then let the audience work on using the "I - We - World" frame as a sorting device to identify, or imagine, projects that would benefit Eastbourne. There's an audio recording of their report back below: 

38 Degrees Live will be producing a film based on their sessions in due course - but we wanted to share some of the methods, culture and proposals that could arise from our "Political Laboratories" approach. 

If you were at the event, and you want to engage more with The Alternative UK, please contact us directly at