The pop-up retailer is interesting. It’s the idea that people will line up to purchase limited edition products from niche retailers. It begain with niche companies setting up stores in temporary locations, giving the consumer the impression that in a world massculturalisation, where everything is described with methaphoric infinity, that you would be getting something a bit special – not necessarily cheap. Along with pop-up retail, are pop-up staff, pop-up advertising and websites – many of which appear on mass-sites such as Facebook offering some exclusive inside line.

These shops are more than pile it high and sell it cheap, they are often surrounded in culture and technology. Here’s a typical example in New York. http://www.govacant.com/rockport/

What makes this really interesting to me is that pop-up have become a successful response to lock-up businesses. People finding ways to do things that most people would assume can’t be done – small niche topics, more diverse experience and designed to be short term with narrow appeal. It seems counter intuitive.  Pop-up school isn’t at all hard to conceive, not as a replacement, but as an expansion. In all likelihood, these would be conceived by networked affinity groups, rather than large organisations – and for social good.

I think we have pop-up education already, but it is  provided by, and benefits people on a consultation or conference basis – rather than kids directly. So pop-up school would be for kids. This won’t appeal to those people, which I don’t actually think is a bad thing – as pop-up schools would live or die by what they did, not tell others to do.

Pop-up school could easily run for a few days or weeks and be located both in vacant space and virtual space. It could cater for people with specific needs or interests – and most of all these people don’t need to have deep pockets to fund consultants and event company pockets.

What does pop-up school need to get past an idea to a reality? Creative thinkers who like to do, not talk – and temporary space that is accessible. Clearly this is possible online, but more than ever it appears perfectly possible on the high street too. It would benefit systems in that they themselves won’t need to form huge committees to think about it, or do it. But hey – those people might just lend a building.

Pop up school school needs people who can imagine this – and who can deliver. It is unlikely to be something that lock-up minds would entertain. There’s no reason to think pop-up’s would be any less successful than their permanent cousins – or have any less rigor. I suspect they would be more creative and diverse.

Just takes a few people to try.