" />

The Unusual Suspects Festival

    Project information

  • What: 

    The Festival is all about collaboration, about looking for those unlikely connections that can provide inspiration and catalyse breakthrough thinking and actions.

  • Who: Social Innovation Exchange, Nesta, Glasgow Caledonian University and many other partners.
  • When: 7 > 9 October 2015
  • Where: Glasgow, United Kingdom.


Bringing together different communities around a variety of subjects and themes that matter to citizens of Glasgow can provide a space where familiar challenges can be reframed. The Unusual Suspects is a chance to shake up the chemistry; a space to challenge our assumptions. This has been done by bring- ing in outside voices and experiences from around the world, but also by repositioning some existing relationships.

Beneficiaries & Stakeholders:

With 20 events across the city and 35 different contributing organisations it certainly made Glasgow Unusual! Over 600 people engaged with the Festival in some way.

Insights & Conclusions:

There are a few key ingredients:

• Collaboration is key: All events are collaborations of organisations who work in either the same sector, or similar ways, but who did not know each other before the festival.
• Facilitating serendipity through real time connecting: It is important to provide as many way to connect people in between events, so whether it’s the Festival HQ, run at Snook Café, or through real time twitter match-making, we attempt to make unusual connections at every possible at every moment.
• A city-wide experience: The decentralized approach of the festival is not only reflected in the organization of events, but also in the event venues. Each Festival event is hosted in a different part of the city, often in the organization of the session hosts, which gives participants even more of a flavour of the diversity of work.

Contact information