Knock Knock

Knock Knock is your community service to get familiar with your area, to start meaningful interactions with the people around you and to kickstart a long friendship with the community you belong to.
Inclusive
STUDENTS INVOLVED
Amogh Lux
(Irene) Yueh-Ling Liao
ABOUT
Walsall housing Group
The future of urban living
Knock Knock is a project worked on in collaboration with whg. This project explores how we can build stronger social layers in communities across the UK by increasing local social opportunities available to current and future residents. This is because social alienation, isolation and disconnection has become an urgent issue among individuals in urban spaces although population density is getting higher. This can partly be as a result of living digitally invaded lives, a highly commercialized approach to development and the psychological barriers to developing trust and channels which allow people to share, connect and collaborate. Knock Knock addresses this by providing a socially enabled resident experience. In light of the existing global pandemic these issues demand an urgent response. The emerging and increasing needs of society and industries during and following the COVID-19 pandemic include; addressing cohesion, increasing social connection, and enabling greater access to existing assets within communities for improved resilience and increased opportunities for collaboration, sharing and support.
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There is a need for a socially enabled resident experience
By 2050, 70% of the world's population will live in a city. We're going to experience the highest rates of population density. Unfortunately, this is also causing an alarming decrease in our ability to connect with our communities. 27% of UK residents feel a sense of loneliness and isolation. We partnered with an influential stakeholder in the urban ecosystem, a housing group; whg, with a portfolio of 24,000+ homes who are keen on improving community cohesion. We also interviewed a range of residents to gain their perspective. "I feel quite lonely since I just moved into my building and I don’t know how to meet more people” said one Walsall resident. Similar sentiments were echoed by others who felt it was difficult to interact with other residents. So we asked ourselves, "can the future of housing services be a socially enabled resident experience with increased opportunities for sharing, collaboration and support?"

Engaging with your neighbours and community promotes social cohesion

At the core of this problem is the fact that there might be a missing component in the resident experience that allows residents to connect with their community members and informs them of assets and resources available to them for increased sharing, collaboration and support within the community. Through intensive co-creation and collaboration with residents in Walsall and stakeholders from whg we were able to unpack the resident experience to identify key touch points to design for a socially enabled resident experience. Based on our qualitative research, our hypothesis suggested that a conscious approach to introduce people to their communities and integrate them with the space will promote stronger social cohesion. Social cohesion can be measured based on the strength of social relationships, characterized by the presence of trust and participation among individuals within that society. So, how might we design an enabling experience that meets resident needs?

Providing social opportunities for residents

Knock Knock provides two tools, a social kit and a digital platform. The social kit contains fun items and activities to help you approach your neighbours, explore the area and establish a relationship with your community. Residents can opt in to the social kit and it will come with default items that include challenge cards and community postcards. This allows residents to engage with their neighbours indirectly through various nudge strategies. We also offer a digital platform that provides practical information and access to other community activities like a drop-in tea session to meet other residents or our treasure hunt to explore the area and its community assets like local businesses, outdoor activities and more.
Co creating and building on existing resident behaviours and needs.
Through our prototype session with 25 residents in Walsall and London, we learned that there were nuances to delivering a socially enabled resident experience. We learned that while people have a high level of motivation to connect with other community members, they need to support to realize this. Importantly our service needed to provide social opportunities with disguised social intentions, allow people to opt in based on their needs, be resident led and not seem forced. Our concept received positive feedback from both whg stakeholders and residents who were passionate about bringing this concept to life with us. We are now in the middle of blueprinting early stage pilot programs with 40+ residents in 4 high-rise apartment blocks to improve the feasibility of our concept and allow it to seamlessly integrate into whg’s operational model. You can check out our prototype website here https://futureoflivingserv.wixsite.com/knockknock
Impact and value creation
Knock Knock aims to help housing associations and letting agencies foster a sense of belonging for the residents in their communities and augment community cohesion. Through access to Knock Knock’s tools, community stakeholders, housing groups and residents will be able to co-create their path to higher community cohesion through increased ownership of their community experiences and increased sharing, collaboration and support amongst stakeholders. We believe that enhancing customer satisfaction will lead to better sharing of operational burden with fewer residents depending on organizational support to solve problems. From our research we’ve also identified that this can increase residents' tenancy lengths, creating a win-win situation for both residents and housing service providers. We also speculate that Knock Knock’s extended community partnerships with local businesses, local council services and local community activities like clubs will improve wealth circulation in the local economy and make communities more resilient to change in the long run.
special thanks
A special thanks to those stakeholders who supported our project by providing constructive feedback, sharing their unique perspectives, and contributing their time during this pandemic. Key players Richard Haynes - Innovation Manager whg Andrea Edmunds - Our Tutor 
Clive Grinyer - Head of program Nick de Leon - Executive Education and Knowledge Exchange Lead whg Advisory Robert Hughes Paul Dockerill 
Chris Denby John Bedford Hazel Edwards Ravi Chonk Dorthe Jones
Duncan SmithDuncan Smith whg Stakeholders Connie Jennings Nicki Dilks Craig Jewkes Nadine Ramsey Danielle Purshouse Lisa Sylvester Vanessa Pritchard Sarah Humpage Michelle Wiggin Rogena Dee Valentina DiLorenzo External Stakeholders Thomas Wagner Chris Roche Tom Manwell Penny Clark Giulio Ferrini Harriet Gore Edward Jezeph Katinka Schaaf Ruchi Chakravarty
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Set up quick conversation