Designscapes – University of Surrey Presentation


BIDs Belgium presents at the BIDs Scotland Gathering 2017

Beyond Brexit – Always Learning

BIDs Belgium was proud to be invited to present at the BIDs Scotland Gathering in Perth Scotland on March 28th, in which 270 international and national delegates gathered. The title being ‘Beyond Brexit – Always Learning’, showing the close relationship Scotland still has to mainland Europe, with our ‘best practices’ exchange and support that BIDs Scotland has shown to us since we launched.

Showcasing some of the successful Business Improvement Districts from around Scotland. From the established Essential Edinburgh to the inspiring Penicuik First BID, initiated by 2 passionate local entrepreneurs, the presentations showed the progress of how some of the BIDs had been initiated.

Our grassroots initiative of BIDs Belgium presentation, included it’s collaborative and creative approach of the social entrepreneurship aspect, considering the creation of more socially inclusive communities, along with taking our design thinking approach to projects.  Also mentioning the Civic Innovation Network, a collaboration that’s inline with our values of encouraging civic engagement with private, public actors, in which BIDs Belgium is proud to be a co-organizer. We were pleased to have positive feedback about our approach from many of the BID Towns and Cities represented.

Click on the link and read more about the event and our presentation, from BIDs Scotland Storify. 

‘Connecting, Collaborating and Creating’​ at the South Asia Rising Conference 2017

March, of this year took me to a conference in Dubai for the inspirational Eisenhower Fellowships, ‘South Asia Rising – Conversations, a Promise of Togetherness.’

A valuable educational experience of which I am grateful for, with gaining further knowledge on the South Asia region. The region in which my own Parents immigrated and travelled from to settle over 50 years ago to Scotland. This definitely is not the same region as it was back then. The rising status of this region, along with the challenges was communicated in a variety of insightful presentations, from the private and public/Government sectors and experts from China, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Africa along with contributions from Northern Ireland.

The main topic of the event in how to harness and promote regional connectivity, with better integration and cooperation across the region. Learning from the past, to create a better future for all, with reformulating the economic old trade route of the Silk Road to the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative connecting over 60 countries in the region.

Being based in Brussels over the last 16 years and having attended many of the EU conferences over the last couple of years – the benefits of working together on a shared vision cannot be emphasized enough in this globalised world. Whilst embracing the technological advances, innovation and creativity that is among us and to utilise these as key levers for change.

The message is clear no matter which of these conferences I have attended of late. The narrative may have been adapted depending on the regional variations. No matter which part of the world we live in : collaboration, whether it be cross-regional or border, integration, inclusion, diversity, safety and security, co-creating public/private/citizen partnerships are paramount to creating ‘inclusive’ Smart Cities, regions and nurturing the ‘bottom up’ initiatives at ‘grass roots’ community level. Empowering our ‘Smart Citizens’. This will in turn result in much needed boost for socio/economic regeneration, whilst remaining ‘citizen’ centric throughout all processes.

Thank you Eisenhower Fellowship and in particular the Conference Co-Chairs Dr Shahid Mahmud and Mr Raman Madhok for an amazing experience. As well as the subsequent friendships and collaborations that will be forged from this event. Keep connecting, collaborating and creating…!

Article written by : Rozina Spinnoy

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BIDs Brussels Presentation – April 2016

BIDs Brussels Presentation – April 2016

This post first appeared in our Partner organisation of the Belgium Design Council in April 2016. As we have now launched BIDs Belgium, we thought we could share it with you again!

The Belgium Design Council finally got around to presenting our BIDs Brussels and Beyond project that we have been working on for over a year now. The presentation took place in the evening of Wednesday April 20th.

Held in the wonderful central location of Muntpunt. We were lucky to have the incredible hospitality shown by Jurgen Waegemans, of this amazing Library. It will no doubt be the start of what will become a wonderful collaboration with Muntpunt. After a few conversations with Jurgen, it was clear with the community approach the BDC takes, is very much in line with the some of the existing community spirit and values, that this venue stands for. We are thankful to Muntpunt’s hospitality and incredible support to make sure the evening went smoothly.


We were also pleased to have Christopher Keith Malapitan (@chriskem), the Visual Practitioner, join us. Chris used his talents of producing sketch notes during the course of the presentation.

Lucky enough to be presenting in the ‘De Wolken’ auditorium, or ‘mini cinema’, with a welcome reception just outside the auditorium. The set up was indeed welcoming, with the bar and snacks, with offering the ‘Belgian Experience’ of the beverages and of course the delightful Belgian chocolates.

With a good crowd gathering ranging from representatives from Brussels City, to Retail Store Managers, Retail journalists, Architectural companies, local commerce Association representatives, professionals in Change Management to members of our community, we were ready to go!

The presentation from Rozina Spinnoy, was explaining the introduction of the Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), with showcasing some of the examples of what has been achieved in the UK, from the various BIDs that have been realised. Research and various statistics showing the monetary and environmental advantages that have been gained from implementing these BIDs. The benefits for the Commerce, Consumer and residents, with having this Community spirit and framework in place was clear.


The proposal being a similar basic structure to be created here in Brussels, along with a Belgian and EU platform at a later stage. With emphasis on ‘scaling’ up to include social innovation and taking the wider community into account with using technology, creativity, innovation, inclusion and design thinking into the equation.

A lively interactive audience participated in the discussions. Audience members challenged and had questions, ranging from the role of the community participation in the BIDs, to how to deal with the issues of investors purchasing properties, which are left unused in the local shopping centres. Interesting questions, which were given responses, which only emphasised the overall need for collaborative discussions from stakeholders and the community, involved in these ‘zones’ and Business Improvement Districts can at least assist and address.

Indeed these and many more questions will arise, we are sure. One thing we are indeed sure of – the emphasis of working together as a ‘community’ towards the same vision, taking responsibility and taking a sense of ownership, creating an identity and being involved, definitely has it’s advantages.

We have always taken a ‘collaboration with all’ attitude and when the local BIDs City representatives are indeed ready, we hope they do jump on board to support, contribute and believe in the framework that we will create and implement, with those who are now willing to move forward.

The Belgium Design Council, has been driving the BIDs Brussels and Belgium project, so far. Now these will become separate entities with becoming non-profit organisations and the websites and logo/branding is underway. We will also keep up the communication with other BID cities and countries, of whom have been very supportive to our citizen driven initiative. It’s thanks to the UK based BIDs for sharing their successes and projects with us. The collaborations will continue, to further share best practices and create with our national counterparts, the European platform. We will keep you updated on the progress of this of course.

The presentation started with a ‘feel good’ video that we have the pleasure to end this update on. This concept was to ‘create, connect and collaborate’ with local talent of our friends at Production Cap, with our City of Brussels and most of all with the people..Enjoy!