Social Innovation Decoded workshops off to a great start

17 Oct 2016 Sandra Bailie    Last updated: 26 May 2017

There was a real buzz at the first of eight social innovation decoded workshops that was held as part of The Unusual Suspects festival on Friday 14 October in NICVA.

Paul Brathwaite from Building Change Trust started by describing the Social Innovation NI programme. This is an initiative of the Building Change Trust which aims to make it easier for those with innovative solutions to social challenges to access the support they need to deliver their ideas with impact and at scale. Social Innovation NI will deliver its own innovation support and also provide signposting information about other supports available. There are 8 workshops throughout Northern Ireland, as well as a skills programme and techies in residence for further support that teams or organisations can express an interest in being involved in by completing an online form.

Patricia Flanaghan from WorkWest then gave participants an overview of social innovation and took them through the Design Thinking tool which encouraged them to be more innovative in their thinking. The small groups of four worked through each stage of design thinking which involved lots of post it notes and triggered news ideas and different ways of doing things.

Patricia encouraged all of the group to choose creativity – she challenged us to think like a visitor and keep asking “why?” as well as seeing the challenges we face from a different angle. She also commented on our habit of saying no and urged us to be optimistic and say “yes” which opens up possibilities.

Some feedback from the session:

A welcome injection of creativity” Centre for Cross Border Studies

Ideas come from people working together” MACS

Different way of thinking about things – really interesting” Arthritis Care

An opportunity to think beyond the norm and engage in creative teamwork and ideas generation” Co-operation Ireland

There are 7 more of these workshops being delivered by NICVA throughout Northern Ireland in the new few months so come along and find out more.'s picture
by Sandra Bailie

Head of Organisational Development

[email protected]

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