Challenge Accepted, episode 4. Our second series kicks off with a new team: the Topjaw crew from London, comprising our host Jesse and his friend Will behind the camera. Together, they will tackle some of the trials and tribulations of living in an urban environment.

Will and Jesse from Topjaw
New season, new team: Topjaw from London.

Their first challenge: to engage with their community. But how? Can they get to know those familiar and unfamiliar faces around them, bring them together and help to transform their neighbourhood into a better community

To find out, check out our brand-new video below!

Big cities can be overwhelming and difficult to deal with. Although it might seem like everyone is rubbing shoulders, life in the city can also feel anonymous and frustrating. So, what can we do to change all this and improve urban life for ourselves and others?

We think the solution lies in getting to know your community and actually engaging with people. To get you started, we’ve compiled a few simple, effective tips and tricks:

Why not speak to someone you wouldn’t normally talk to?

People tend to interact with those they already know and feel comfortable being around. But aren’t you missing out on something? You certainly are. Breaking out of your comfort zone and experiencing new things, getting to know new people and trying something new can be so much fun. You would be surprised just how much you can learn from others. New perspectives, new attitudes and brand-new ways of living and thinking.

Jesse talking outside to several men
Breaking out of your comfort zone can be very inspiring.

Get to know your neighbours.

Your neighbours are always around – you probably see them every day. While many people don’t know their own neighbours or only have superficial encounters, you’ll benefit from getting to know them and they should be an important part of your community. Who knows, you might even make a new friend or discover solutions to everyday problems. For inspiration, look no further than our season #1 host Michel who borrowed a ladder from next door instead of buying a new one in “How to share and care”.

Jesse laughing together with a women in a turquoise blouse
Who knows? A new friend might be just around the corner.

Local cultural events bring the community together.

While local cultural events are great for sampling culture and generally enjoying yourself, they can also be an excellent opportunity for getting to know and engaging with your local community. Something as simple as a shared interest can help to build real relationships. Find out what moves the people around you – and maybe even discover new inspiration yourself. Why not set up a free library, for example, where everyone can share and swap unwanted books? Or why not host an event for your own community, like Topjaw did?

People at the exhibition
The more, the merrier!

Partner up with your friends on projects.

Together, we are stronger – and the more, the merrier. Rope in your friends to challenge routines and rediscover your own neighbourhood. Whether you plan to spruce up unsightly spots, start an urban gardening project for more green in area, paint some benches or fill little corners with redesigned feelgood vibes: The actual project doesn’t matter as long as you support each other.

Will and Jesse looking at some pictures of the exhibition
Get to know the people living next to you and find out what moves them. You have nothing to lose but can win a lot.

It’s easier to meet people through shared interests.

There is nothing better than sharing thoughts and interests, no matter what your hobbies are: music, sports, art, food, books or something completely different. It’s a great way to meet new people that are passionate about the same things. And you might even discover that you have much more in common than a single hobby!

Will and Jesse interviewing a man in a blue t-shirt
Just do it! You’ll be surprised how many people are happy to help.

Don’t be afraid to ask! People tend to be happy to help.

Although some people might seem grumpy and unsupportive, most people are actually happy to help. Need a dog sitter but don’t know where to look? Why not ask that familiar face and fellow dog owner from the local park? The same applies to all those situations where you could use a helping hand, i. e. accepting parcel deliveries or watering the plants while you are away. Remember: You are not alone in this world – and asking for help does not make you helpless.

Want to know how Topjaw fared in their challenge? Then check out the video above. And if you have a great tip on how to engage with your community, please share your thoughts and leave a comment on YouTube.

Further episodes of Challenge Accepted are available on the smart YouTube channel.