My social business manifesto – Generation Wisdom

Generation Wisdom a digital platform for shared skills, in work training and job creation for SMEs by connecting young jobseekers with active older people 

I am Sergio, a social entrepreneur pitching to Richard Branson with a new idea base on sharing and forward thinking. This is a topic outside of any political party manifesto. Why? Because it is about trusting people to organize themselves and working out solutions not given but created. Perhaps  this makes me a dreamer? Far from it I am simply looking at the world with different eyes and ears.  I invite you to think about this question. Is the growing ageing population an opportunity or a threat? I have been working on this idea for the last two years. In 2011 funded by the Big Lottery, I produced Creative Generation ( an intergenerational media project to connect social housing residents across generations. Before then I had the opportunity to deliver Unseen Voices, a project in Wembley for the Holocaust Memorial Day which was awarded in Brussels for innovative use of media in education. Back home I worked with pensioners from London Port Authority and young people to question the future of the River Thames and involved audiences in the debate with the project Listen

I founded Big Bang Lab in 2008 ( and this has been my work, a progressive view that connects memory with innovation, young people with older people, re-used creatively film archives to question the present, looking back to move forward. I branded it as Cultural Social Responsibility. On my journey I tested, failed and discovered collective ways for participatory media research and production and crowdversations® was born. How many times organisations lose contact with their consumers, users and audiences? Capturing the collective wisdom from the “ crowd” it is about valuing each individual contribution, the basic principle of democracy. Somehow with the development of globalisation and media we are losing the courage or opportunity to look inwards to enable express what we really think, feel and know without being too concerned about what others may think or feel. It is this desire to bring genuine forms of expression and freedom to communities that are voiceless from young to old or simply out of the radar the core of what Big Bang Lab stands for. As this text has unintentionally become a manifesto, this is what I promise: a business opportunity to tackle social good and work on it relentlessly with others. 

Intergenerational Learning Lab

Intergenerational Learning Lab

We need to come to  basics and make sure that technology and media are used for a purpose other than entertainment. Let’s trust the wisdom of experience of our elderly. Let’s trust the wisdom of aspiration of our young people. There is no secret other that establishing a space to learn from each other to move forward towards a new future. A future where young people can fulfil their dreams and multiple potentials with decent paid jobs, a workplace made for and by entrepreneurial employees, a space where learning an working for small enterprises can bring added value to our families, neighbourhoods and society. Wisdom brings the ability to stay open by putting experience and aspirations to solve complex problems collectively, bringing new solutions, no creating new problems. If you dare to dream. If you think I am unreasonable, the join my venture. As a musician I now exactly where I am getting, I am not scared of the not tangible nature of a vision because since I was a kid I made sound my best friend. However in the execution, I am not so concerned about being in control of all the dots in between and that’s the way it should be. This is where you become important. I trust that there are people like you and me out there who dare to connect their brains, hearts and hands together as a whole and would benefit from Generation Wisdom in the creation, execution or every step in the way. 

• Generation Wisdom video
• Vote and share here!

Thanks for your support!

Sergio Lopez 
Big Bang Lab

For further information: Wisdom Beyond Age press release


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Inspired by a Hackathon, open call to developers for MILO

Welcome to MILO!
As a newcomer for the #Hack4Good 48 hours event or Hackathon I was amazed by the commitment and energy of so many talented coders and developers. Why do geeks have such a bad reputation? I know many creatives that will struggle to work with such a sense of generosity and no-ego-driven-attitude! The Hackathon has been an amazing experience!

I had a project in mind but no chance of pitching it, he was immediately very happy to contribute to the Good Meet / Amnesty project. Sergio is the driving force behind Big Bang Lab, a participatory media social enterprise with emphasis in improving communication within organisations and generating good data using crowdsrourced video methods. With people at the centre of the process, anyone can express freely about what they think, feel and know for evaluation on learning, audience development, feedback and social impact measurement purposes. This is the essence of a crowdversation®

His vision: Sustainability without a box
From 2014 onwards I am developing a totally new concept around sustainability of the intangibles, making sure that no wisdom is wasted in our knowledge based society. MILO (mentorship intergenerational learning orchestra) is the beginning for such a vision. The purpose allows young graduates to engage with retired high calibre professionals
in London, whilst providing opportunities to learn soft skills as a group in new ways. MILO is the first ever intergenerational learning orchestra formed by mentors and mentees looking at practical problem solving using music to change the way we related as humans within an organisation. He is bringing transformative development through music to another level.

Young people will become creative leaders, sharp communicators and competitive collaborators. Not just an employees,but changemakers in their own right to make a real impact in social enterprises, charities, social businesses and large organisations with CSR. With MILO, I am aiming to connect people’s minds, hearts and hands. This is something he already experienced at this #Hack4Good weekend!

What do I need right now? Whilst I am looking for partners for the first stage of the project, I am looking for developers. Starting with a peer to peer approach to recruitment for both mentors and menthes, I will be using social media strategies to promote the site, a basic but effective website tailored to each group to users to upload video or text in their profile as part of the selection process. In doing so, the recruitment for MILO becomes social.

I created a promotional video which will lead to a crowdfunding campaign to cover partly the costs of this website/ application and also has created a simple page website to explain MILO which eventually will be replaced by the new recruitment website. He would like to be tested and completed by 15th November.

If you can help in any way feel free to contact him using the contact form at He is happy to consider all possible options for collaboration that will make it a reality and a stress free, enjoyable experience for everyone involved!

Sergio Lopez
Big Bang Lab

 MILO (Mentorship Intergenerational Learning Orchestra)

MILO (Mentorship Intergenerational Learning Orchestra)

pre-beta recruitment web
promotional video

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MILO (mentorship intergenerational learning orchestra)

Big Bang Lab is launching today MILO, an organisational development initiative and mentorship programme to connect young graduates with retired professionals across industries. In addition to the one to one mentorship and soft skills curriculum over a period of four months on Leadership, Communication, Creativity and Collaboration, we are working on collective learning by forming a musical ensemble formed by mentors and mentees. This is probably not a programme out of a business school or similar, but a genuine response by a SME and social enterprise to the current challenges of youth employability and organisational growth.

MILO is still on development but at the core of this intergenerational initiative are important questions about wisdom, peer to peer innovation and skills sharing. Creative Generation, an intergenerational music and media learning in social housing, the space to share by learning beyond class, age and cultural barriers.

Whether you are intrigued and want to know more to become a partner, mentor or mentoree, check out this beta site for further info and promotional video to share the link with your peers.

MILO website

To watch the promotional video, click here

Promotional video about MILO (Mentorship Intergenerational Learning Orchestra)

Promotional video about MILO (Mentorship Intergenerational Learning Orchestra)

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Digital Economy and Social Innovation

I am happy to learn about a very exciting course on Digital Economy and Social Innovation run by a partnership between Beuth University of Applied Sciences (Berlin), The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship – University of Gothenburg in Sweden and Socialt Capital Forum NGO (SOCAP)

The course is for students from around the world who are interested in how digital media and social innovation drive change shaping the global and national economies, corporate priorities and social entrepreneurship.

This is a good example of how theory and practise should work together in designing a curriculum for the XXI century and how important is to consider the key changes happening in three sectors: public, for profit and not-for-profit. This is a very exciting proposition as we live in a world of interdependence and therefore the challenges can’t be solved by looking it from one point of view in isolation. I find fascinating the co-learning proposition of the course to review the convergence between social innovation, entrepreneurship and digital economy and tackle the multiple dimension of sustainability.

For more information click here

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Open Communication and Social Innovation

The world would be a different place if we start saying what we think, sharing what we know and expressing what we feel freely! In the era of connectivity and creativity this is applicable to individuals as well as organizations. It sounds simple but it isn’t. We still are working with old mindsets to tackle complexity. Are you free to express yourself at work, being entrepreneurial or you feel that the hierarchy of power is still preventing true collective innovation? Collaborative learning is a good starting point but it is not about putting different people together in a room to learn to do something as a a collective. It requires more skills and practice. It is very simplistic to talk about but doing it for real it is another matter. The world needs collaborators as well as leaders and having those skills combined same time is a long term process.

Why am I saying this here? Because I am a believer of shared wisdom as a driver of social innovation and it would be great to share our experiences of participating in this programme. Wisdom is a process open to the young and the old…. Perhaps this blog entry What is wisdom for? will give you some food for thought? The thing is that we are losing connection with ourselves and our own truth preventing people connecting words with coherent action. This is why I get so inspired working with children and with music!

Creating music together is a good example of collaborative and transformational activity at many levels, not only at a social, cultural, spiritual, experiential or cognitive level. Music goes beyond words and it is not a commodity stored in your phone at your disposal. I am very passionate about working in the near future with Otakar Kraus Music Trust, because I believe in their quality of their work.

I hope to contribute in the best way I can to their goals, helping to create online videos as tools to create awareness of the work of OKMT. I am very excited about their plans for a new music centre . Thanks to Vodafone’s programme we will be working together towards one goal, making sure that real communication and genuine content goes hand in hand in order to get their message across to move on to the next stage, starting by increasing their social media presence and funding contributions along the way! I am very excited about the prospects of connecting communication with fundraising at a small scale.

A reasonable thing for many charities and private businesses. Sometimes it is a struggle when it shouldn’t be. Why the beneficiaries or users who are at the centre of the services provided by charities are in a obscure place when it comes to communication. Why their voices are not heard enough? . Imagine for a moment if a child in India, South Africa or Brazil could actually express what they feel about aid, have the opportunity to be the change in the world and talk about the impact of the work of a charity in their lives ? Aren’t they the main stakeholders? What would be the impact of understanding his story and a sum of collective stories? On the other hand, businesses are trying desperately to connect with consumers although sometimes things can get really wrong when greed is the hidden agenda behind growth, development or sustainability, unfortunately.

All I can say about Otakar Kraus Music Trust is that after so many years of dedication, doing an amazing job with little resources, they deserve to move on to the next stage. Their true commitment to make music accessible to all will continue to affect positively to so many people in the UK, India, Nepal and other parts of the world. I am ready for the challenge and opening a door to create awareness using video and social media.

Thanks to Vodafone’s programme a World of Difference and the grant award to OKMT, this journey is possible for more information check out the links

Sergio Lopez Figueroa

Otakar Kraus Music Trust

Vodafone World of Difference

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Big Bang Lab Orchestra (BBLO) Intergenerational Business Development Programme

This initiative is for me a genuine way of walking  the word as the founder of Big Bang Lab, a cultural social enterprise working internationally promoting global citizenship and understanding between communities and organisations using music and media. At Big Bang Lab we are continuing our intergenerational media projects as a way to capture collective wisdom for future generations and provide knowledge exchanges between generations through storytelling and civic journalism combined as in Creative Generation With the production of open source video archives we make that wisdom accessible to wider communities locally and worldwide as well as future generations.

For over 4 years we have been experimenting and searching for complementary R&D models for Corporate Social Responsibility through Cultural Social Responsibility  and offering brokerage services to connect the impossible. So in order to create the resources to scale up our services, we  are currently  ‘ recruiting’ retired senior professionals across industries as well as bright and energetic young graduates. In addition to their individual core competences we are adding one more, the ability to play a musical instrument at a standard of performing. This is the idea behind the Big Bang Lab – intergenerational – music orchestra without a conductor. At the same time, this is part of our own own internal organizational development strategy.

This is a big step forward for us to become a sustainable organization by creating a board as well as the workforce that will bring us to the next level.

Where are we? in London
Who are we looking for?
Exceptional individuals that are passionate about our vision and mission, coming from private sector as well as third sector with expertise in areas such as Marketing, IP Law, Fundraising, Business Management, Finance, Music Production, Film Distribution and Technology) with experience and knowledge of the market. We then start the recruitment process of the equivalent young counterparts as graduates in a mentor – mentee relationship.

What makes this scheme unique is that will enable us as cultural social enterprise to become stronger and deliver scalable value. Part of the package will include work experience in the communities we work as social enterprise across a network of cities tapping into the ethnic minorities and the disadvantage youth.

What services Big Bang Lab provides? We provoke crowdversations as a starting point to create a new culture of collaboration in business and civil society. We provide workshops, training and crowdsourced video production

For more information about the CROWDVERSATIONS watch this presentation

BBLO  initiative is part of an unusual internal HR development. We are looking for individuals that are good at their core skills but also good connectors. Tey are able to play already a musical instrument to a  level of performing live. The orchestra will rehearse regularly and we will play one concert every year.

This is a meeting point where artists that moved into business  as well as business or professionals who may have not pursued a musical career will learn from each other and make new music together.


Now, this initiative need a sponsor to be a truly win win for all of us involved, so to complete the  puzzle, we need you to  complete the ‘ recruitment process by spreading the word or getting in touch with us. Help us to create a win win solution.

We are all ears!
Welcome to Big Bang Lab Orchestra!

For more info about Big Bang Lab

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Crowdversation: collective wisdom, data and collaboration

We talk about the need of sharing and collaboration as part of a new paradigm of business, innovation and change, but do we really know how to achieve it and how to make it effective? In every conference I have been it was hard to disagree completely basically because most people come from the same place (place as background, level of expertise, sector etc…). This kind of knowledge sharing has its roots on trade since medieval times, but in a interconnected world we don’t only need to think outside the box but invite in conversations to people that are outside of our own club.

As a student I used to work as a pianist at a macrobiotic restaurant in Italy in the late eighties run by a magician who played tricks to his customers week by week. Little I knew that offering my dinner to a local homeless would lead to quitting my job after the magician business owner denied to offer him my food. There were no tricks to play for the unwanted guest.

Are we so open as we think we are?

It is obvious that people interested in the same activity and sector should get together, but it will be interesting for those working across disciplines to have a place to discuss, challenge and share experiences. In the cultural sector I am always intrigued by the lack of dialogue between institutionalised culture actors and the most informal sector. Even at a business level it would be interesting to get philanthropist, social entrepreneurs, charity leaders and CSR managers in the same place and time.

Why communities are ignored in the future of cities agenda in every urban policy and innovation conference I have been?  Am I missing something? Is it dealing with people and the leverage of social capital too difficult to manage?

We have now the tools and the technology to make things happen but at the end of the day, the very primitive instinct when approaching collaboration remains alive in the form of the thought ‘ what’s in there for me?’ instead of what is in there for us? . It  is in our primitive DNA. Is it possible to imagine, connect and create other systems and models where a clear strategy of knowledge sharing can lead to common good as well as individual fulfilment? Is it possible to learn to collaborate? Is collaborative learning a myth?

With the best intentions, time and trust is our worst enemy. Building trust takes time and now we don’t seem to have enough time. The question is How can we cut all the clutter – the bullshit – out of the way and work with a vision together? In every innovation bid by definition there is an element of collaboration (or induced partnership building) We need to keep our individual specialism not in silos but connected with a wider view. If we manage connect our brains, hearts and hands ourselves together, things will be easier to interact at another level with others.

We need to start looking at commonplaces rather than differences, looking at common goals. I am not an expert on the theory of chaos and complex ecosystems but if we start making those invisible connexions available and open, it will be easier  to deal with complexity. As humans we would be able to manage better our time and be aspirational by making the interdependance amongst the opposites more obvious and also do things and fall,  not just think about doing things.

With Big Bang Lab after years of experiential R&D we are using the tools that are coming from the real experience to enable people to communicate with each other in a way it is natural (conversations and stories) at equal level of power (everyone has something to contribute) and enable to compress time and space by enabling people that would not normally meet because of differences of about age, race, wealth, expertise, cultural  - shall I continue ? – to being able to discuss in the real physical space and share that wisdom for a common purpose.

Through crowdversations we are following that vision and making use of the online social networks, accessibility to video and audio production tools to being able to tackle the important issues in the most complex interconnected systems – CITIES –  by collecting data and collective wisdom by people like you and the people unlike you!

Bear with us, at Big Bang Lab – for definition- we are also evolving and a new website is part of that journey, but that’s another story! Be patient …

Sergio López Figueroa

Big Bang Lab

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Children’s capacity to seek for answers and the power of video

“I’m very sorry, I made a mistake. It won’t happen again¨   Following the last entry on collective wisdom. This blog entry shows an example of wisdom from our children. Sign up to this petition campaign to ask the King of Spain more than an apology in 11 words. He suffered an accident  and this is how we knew about his private safaris killing elephants and wild animals in Africa. His unusual apology  leaving the hospital was the only way out for this crisis. But now what?

This practice that has been  justified by the media for the sake of funding preservation to show the locals that they are  doing some punishment with elephants that are destroying their villages. To the view of my mother I became a Republican!  It remains me of a friend who had cockroachphobia so if I was found to be in the same space or room where the insect was wandering around, then by extention I was already another cockroach with two feet. Surreal as it sounds, but true!

As a  Spaniard living abroad I felt that there is a need for open discussions and constructive self criticism. At the moment I feel ashamed by an apparently adequate  culture of silence by people and the media. The news is not about forgiveness alone. My daughter was shocked to see the picture of the King posing in front of a dead elephant. She asked me to help her to make this video. There was no editorial input besides of asking questions and editing all together. As a father I am clearly opposed to the use of children to be exposed to the wild media of internet, being always reluctant to share the day by day stuff via Facebook and the like, but I hope this is a one off that will help her to reflect back one day with a smile and be as proud as she is now!

 What is the issue?  There are many issues sorrounding these news that I am not aware of and goes beyond my knowledge, but I am not regretting for a second to allow other people to express what they want to say and how they want to say it. This example of participatory  responsible video seems a natural media for children now  who are familiar to use the media  and tools by themselves. Another matter is how to use the media to make them think and be engaged with their environment.

The issue is not a western movie, being the King the BAD of the film. There are more UGLY things to learn about it if we keep asking. However we are still ignorants now, searching for the GOOD is always worthwhile. Isn’t it? Are we converting Africa in a zoo and a playground for the rich people to have fun?

DON’T KILL FOR GAME  These four kids in London are true global citizens and have something to tell to the King!  but we have to learn also from african children as well. They care about making a change. Watch the video  and help us to get viral! If you search online you will be able to read more about the news but it has been kept quiet in some fronts, not in the Spanish speaking social media.

The question remains, and now what? We need your help to spread the message across

Don’t Kill for Game online petition here (bilingual)

Share these videos!

It is intriguing how we quickly convert headlines to inner thoughts and how little effort we make to build our own opinions based on facts from a wide range of sources. It is our capacity to enquire and our inner curiosity to learn that will allow us to gain the competences we need to build a better world. There has been lots of talks about citizenship journalism. The best lesson starts from school which will enable children to connect with their own and other people’s realities. At the core of this campaign there is something genuine, something about unresolved issues. This generation of global citizens whose simple questions need to be answered are the future!

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Global City Symphony, vote now for BIG call from Cisco!

Let’s make together Global City Symphony the BIG idea!
I am a late entry runner – yes it feels like a pre-Olympics – to participate in Cisco’s British Inovation call for ideas why not giving a shot? maybe the stars are on my side? I’ve submitted an idea for the future cities section within the BIG innovation competition promoted by Cisco.  I need lots of more more votes hopefully 50 +  to being able to move to the semi-finals (yes they call it like that).

Global City Symphony is a co-learning platform that connects peoples and creative solutions using crowdsourced videosto change your city bottom up and create a visioning path for the future through film, online videos and music!  In the UK,  GCS will be focusing in Housing and residents of Housing Estates and close neighbourhoods via the extension of Creative  Generation project across London. The outcome a video archive, informal learning centres and live music with silent films across a network of cities in the UK. Let’s empower old and young people coming and sharing  together their collective
wisdom with solutions towards the future! For more info visit

ACT NOW!  The deadline is the 30th of April!    Can you share it online with your friends?

VOTE FOR SERGIO! one click to the thumb up icon here and you are done!

GCS is not just an idea, the seed of pilot project started back in 2009 in India where I  will be heading for a R&D trip  supported by a British Council grant and the partners I worked with back in 2009. Through open presentations and  and active participation we will meet a diverse number of ‘stakeholders’ all with something to contribute to the whole,  with the exciting prospects that until now they never imagined they can possibly work well together!

To learn more about Global City Symphony and Big Bang Lab’s efforts follow these links

GCS Facebook page
Online network
Big Bang Lab on social media

A BIG Spring hug from Sergio!

Sergio López Figueroa,
Big Bang Lab, Director
mob. +44 (0)7811458779
Skype kinoscore

Video channel
Online  video
Online audio
Mailing list
Twitter  @bigbanglab



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Thanks to The Artist, the silence is over!

I am very pleased to hear that The Artist, a silent film – the first one since 1929 – for winning an oscar this year to both best film and best music. Why?  I am going to explain shamelessly the selfish reasons!

The Artist as an idea is an inspiration on the persistance from the director and producers to materialize a vision and a lesson for all that success is volatile and unpredictable. However overcoming difficulties working from integrity and conviction sooner or later the miracle can happen.

However a question remains, should a contemporary silent film would have made such a hit? is it part of the success that the film is celebrating  a film and therefore made sense – albeit risky – to make it silent?  As in Hugo of Scorsese there is somehow an element of nostalgia for an era that is gone. No doubt that both films are moving and fantastic, but the question is the same. Is there any space in the crowded marketplace for a contemporary feature film that doesn’t deal with the silent era but it is contemporary but silent? How is the audience is going to take it? could it be an arthouse experiment for few, a blockbuster for the masses?

For years since I founded Big Bang Lab in 2008, producing and facilitating the learning opportunities of silent films. However the term silent put lots of people off as back then it was not a cool thing to do. The answer I had was always. Is there an audience for that? Are still people making silent movies?

With a vision of creating a new experience of cinema and understanding beyond language barriers we saw new opportunities to the creation of new silent films and a good way to engage at a new level of creativity. We did it and experimented in many ways from re-creating a narrative with no words using film archives or using a technology word – a mash up – in learning settings for instance with Unseen Voices,  silent film project about the kindertransport and holocaust which eventually won a special jury mention at the European Medea awards for the innovative use of media in education.  Young people from a secondary music school in Brent, London met survivors and created a film to learn about their reading fully aware that they were cheating the audience as any work of art is artificially created, by doing that they learnt about the power of media and propaganda as we saw the commissioned film by Hitler on Theresienstadt concentration camp.

Other via we explored is how contemporary silent films can combine both archive and new footage and trascend cultures as  a tool that allows to deal with difficult issues and make them accessible.  In 2009 I had the privilege of producing a silent film in Delhi with disadvantaged children re-using archives and shooting, participating in the creation of  a new music score and tackling at the same time issues such as waste management or accessibility to classical music education and connexion with heritage through creativity.  That project became a stepstone in my evolving  concept of cultural social responsibility, realizing the potential of a new understanding of creative heritage in the digital and global world we live now. We explored new territories to revitalize a medium of silent film and the power of  music  from both creative, talent development and social impact perspectives. At a personal level it was a transformative project, a two way learning process of tolerance from which I feel privileged. Otherwise how can you explain that the film Berlin, symphony of  a great city was the starting point for children in Delhi to start questioning their city and  creating awareness of their environment without being dismissed as a waste of tim? It wasn’t!

New contemporary digital films  can engage audiences at another level.  And with silent films is how we launched Big Bang Lab with the programme Invitation to a Journey including new music for Germaine Dullac’s film  Invitation au voyage (1927), the event with a celebration and conversation with the audience who in the end performed live music with balloons to the iconic Segundo de Chomon’s El Hotel Electrico.

What can we gain and what we lose with no language driven cinema? Films that have a narrative created beyond words but with high quality production and artistic values? What is the role of the music soundtrack in a silent film?

I am passionate about giving a rebirth of a spiritual value to music that unfortunately is becoming a commodity!  we are passionate at Big Bang Lab to engage and nurture new  young talents in new forms of collaborative in both music and film, creating opportunities and a space to realize their visions.

The Oscar for The Artist is only good news for us and for all of a niche community that are involved in promoting a screen heritage through music or creating new language of cinema, new audiences that have to complete the inevitable but with whom we are co-creating stories, experiences that makes us to think and be entertained. Because we respect audiences we are certain that the dialogue with our audience is crucial to create that empathy that not all success come in a box, that we can’t always expect to apply a formula to film production when the product doesn’t start with vision and integrity as opposed to please the masses. We believe there are opportunities to work with our audiences and don’t expect that they are ready to be brainwashed about criteria of value.

THE FUTURE IS NOW With that business to consumer position with a social enterprise mind I am very pleased to have received a travel grant from the British Council as part of the Connections Through Culture’s programme between India and UK.  Our goal is to establish contacts at all levels to produce a double programme of old and contemporary silent film with music interventions from both classical traditions, looking at new languages and forms of expression.  We will continue with this programme what we started back in 2009 with Delhi City Symphony.

We have created a channel on vimeo open to any filmmaker to submit their contemporary silent films and we are very pleased to hear the interest from the community. To discover new films visit




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