EVENT RECAP: Coffee & Jam #225

Speaker one: Laura Taylor about Evolution Square

Laura Taylor is a placemaking advisor and works for Otakaro Unlimited. Her current project revolves around creating an amazing ambience in the South Frame of the City Centre. The idea behind Evolution Square is really to transform spaces to places: bringing a bit of atmosphere and meaning to a physical spot. Otakaro aims to deliver anchor projects, balancing commercial and regeneration, whilst providing social value to the community.

Obviously, people have chosen to be a part of the South Frame and Otakaro aims to link them together, making a fingerprint, an internationally unique area. South Frame already has industrial Christmas lighting, stories written in stone in a traditional way which become visible when it rains or the fountain sprays water on. Moreover, there is a community based market, mostly having stalls with recycled goods and local made products.

There is currently a shift to holistic approaches, places have become more important than spaces, as shared value has gained importance and authenticity and community place management are highly valued. It is the neighbourhood which decides the shape of the community and all of its activities.

Evolution Square is to be completed in December and the current plans for the opening are a kick off in the late afternoon, which changes into a street party afterwards. In the afternoon, the idea is to create a Goldberg machine, domino made with actual things, which should symbolise the community in a way. She is still looking for people to be part of a wee team collaborating together to design the machine and is asking businesses to provide the symbolic objects You can be a part of shaping the culture and the vibe of the space, so make sure to get in contact with Laura via laura.taylor@otakaroltd.co.nz


Speaker Two: Lab5 Students

Lab5 is an entrepreneurial programme that we are running where we take year 10 Christ's College students out of school for the week and immerse them in the entrepreneurial community. Over the week they rapidly prototype an idea in an area where they see has a problem that they can solve. Below is an overview of the ideas that the students pitched at Coffee and Jam.

Restoration Energy

There is a big problem in third world countries with getting clean drinking water. The idea is to fix this problem with filtration devices and create drinking fountains from that. Also, the guys are planning to integrate a waterwheel to make electricity with. They are looking at environmental committees as investors and aim to make electricity in Christchurch cleaner, as they will test out the products here.


We all know of the problem that petrol is running out and will gone by 2040. This team aims to solve this with Hydrocars. The cars will run on water, using turbines to create electricity. These cars will be better as electricity is not clean and water will be reusable. Also, a filter will installed so polluted water can also be used to drive the car.


There is a lack of help and there are too many resource going to waste. That is why these guys want to develop an app which measures carbon footprint. You get points for shopping environmentally friendly and having a positive impact on the world, but also a deduction of points when you do not. These points can be turned into rewards, such as discounts at stores.

Anthony is a teacher who also joined in with the Lab5 students.

Obesity is a serious problem in both Australia and New Zealand. The idea is give health and wellbeing workshop for kids at school and in holidays have one or two day clinics. It aims to educate them, by showing examples and giving them a practical approach to eating healthier. Besides this, conversations with parents are essential to make an effective change.  


Speaker Three: Allen Carbon for Creatives for Charities

Creative for Charities is a project which aims to help Charities by giving them designs, which can be used for effective marketing and presenting the charity to investors. These designs will otherwise be unaffordable for the charity. Three charities have been chosen, it is a youth program, a women’s refuge and a prisoners help organisation.

The deal is that during a weekend somewhere mid-October creative people come together to fill the gap. The teams will consist of a designer, photographer, videographer, animator and producer. Besides this, event organisers are also needed but basically anyone who has time and wants to help endear charities and empower them to become better functioning organisations and make the world a better place. The platform aims to connect artistry and great charities, and help with the attraction of volunteers. Be sure to contact Allen via acarbonjournal@gmail.com or 02108645068. You can also check out the site for more details: www.creativeforcharities.nz



Wendy is looking for collectors of Pink Ribbon, for the 13 and 14th of October. The idea is to give 2 hours of your time, you can choose yourself at what times you are available. There is a flyer up in the EPIC centre if you would like more information.

Raewyn Murray is having a Movie Night with Live & Silent Auctions for the Child Cancer Foundation. She is looking for items to be donated for the both auctions - Large and Small. If you have anything cool to donate, be sure to contact her at kids4kidsconcert2017@gmail.com

Janet talked about Science Alive, which is a programme during the school holiday. It teaches the kids about electricity and how to set up an electrical circuit. It is real cheap and will keep the kids busy for a couple hours. For Ages 7-9 yrs https://www.eventfinda.co.nz/2017/get-connected-juniors/christchurch and for Ages 10-13 years https://www.eventfinda.co.nz/2017/get-connected-seniors/christchurch.

Angus Whitehead is looking for a challenge in software engineering. You can email him at anguswhitehead@me.com  or give him a call at 0226092740.  


Coffee & Jam is Christchurch's longest running weekly meet up for entrepreneurially-minded people. It’s a great place to see ordinary people doing extraordinary things, meet people, learn and share in a creative space, hear about other events in Christchurch and indulge in a little bit of free coffee, jam and bread.

If you have an idea you'd like to pitch get in touch with Gina at gina@ministryofawesome.com.