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About Multiverse Lab

Multiverse Lab is an innovative public engagement project. In 2020-21 it asked people across the North East and Cumbria, “What is the health or social care breakthrough you hope to see in your lifetime?”

Find out what people had to say. Search the archive to inspire your own research or engagement projects. You can search the archive by keyword to find out what people had to say about specific topics or just explore!

A summary report highlights the most talked about issues at Multiverse Lab here.

Multiverse Lab was developed to make communities' voices heard, including those under-represented in public engagement, to shape the future of health and social care research.

What We Did

Add your voice screenshot and booth

Multiverse Lab reached 1,245 of the 3,145 people engaged through a touring pop-up installation. It visited high streets, community centres and festivals to reach diverse communities across the North East and Cumbria. The installation featured bespoke recording software so people could add their voices. This technology combined with 2 hosts. The hosts encouraged passers-by to take part. They often found people didn't think they had anything to say. However, when they got chatting, many people realised they had experiences and insights that were relevant and needed to be heard.

Multiverse Lab also engaged 1,900 digital audiences. This engagement was born out of necessity as the lockdowns of 2020-21 made physical touring impossible. The team built an interactive website which was promoted via social media and via direct mail to community groups across the North East and Cumbria. What the team quickly realised was delivering a programme of Zoom Socials created 'moments of action' and reasons for people to come together to explore the website and add their voices. These Zoom Socials were a mixture of targeted sessions for particular community groups, and open public sessions.

We ensured our hosts both online and on tour reflected the diversity of communities we wanted to reach. This included offering BSL and Urdu speaking hosts as part of the digital engagement. This content was available via QR codes for the physical tour, offering better accessibility. We were also joined by volunteers from VOICE and ARC to host the installation on tour.

Through these 2 strands of activity Multiverse Lab captured 500 voices. In the summary report, we share what we heard and people's priorities for health and social care research.

What Happens Next

Multiverse Lab is shaping health and social care research across the North East and Cumbria. All commissioning partners have committed to using the findings to inform their future research priorities. For example, mental health was one of the public's most talked about issues. This evidence has been used in a major funding bid to support mental health research. The public's most talked about issues have also been used to guide an Open Call for research proposals by one of the commissioning partners, NIHR Applied Research Collaboration North East and Cumbria.

The Multiverse Lab archive has been made public so it can support wider research and action. You are welcome to explore the archive and use the findings to inspire your own work.

How It Worked

Explore the original interactive website built for Multiverse Lab.