What is Innovating Communities? www.innovating.ie
Innovating Communities is a training programme to strengthen local development and community-led action across Louth, Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Cavan, and Monaghan over a period of 2021 – 2022.
The programme will provide access to free training in Design Thinking and encourage people across the Border Region to take part in a community of fellow learners, with cohorts of participants focussing on local challenges and developing sustainable solutions to improve community life.
Design thinking is a process that puts people at the heart of solving challenges. It can be applied to any challenge from helping young people access better job opportunities to developing a tourism strategy for a group of villages or even a local approach to tackling major issues like climate change.
Introduction to the Team www.icecreamarchitecture.com
Icecream architecture are leading the Training Team for Innovating Communities. Icecream have 10 years’ experience in delivering citizen-led, community development projects and the creation of
design-led training. The team have led a range of strategic projects that enable, encourage and enhance public participation in local challenges. Icecream will be supported by 38 local Co-Trainers who are volunteering their time to support active participants.
Co-Trainers for Louth
Derbhille Clarke, Noirin Coghlan, Dara MacGabhann. Kieran McCourt, Gaia Dal Ferro, Mary Deery.
Why bringing design thinking to rural communities is important.
Connecting rural communities through shared challenges and opportunities will give strength in numbers and build leverage to secure investment and development.
It can build networks of thinking by bringing together people of every background in their local area to understand what they share and what they can improve. By focussing on overcoming issues
collaboratively and working through a set process, people can fully understand what solutions will work best for everyone.
Design -thinking is used by the most successful companies in the world including Apple, Netflix and
Google. Their use of these processes has ensured their success by continually evolving their offer to
suit the needs of their customers. Communities can take these processes and make them their own –
not working to the aim of securing customers or profit; but to improve the lives of everyone within the community.
Why a creative problem-solving process is not just for ‘creative’ individuals.
Design thinking is for everyone. It lays out a clear path for people to follow and encourages a positive mind-set so people can learn about each other and their needs. The FIVE main stages have been tried and tested to ensure active participation and a simple route to solving problems.
After accepting a local Challenge that they want to tackle, participants will learn how to 1.EMPATHISE with the people affected and 2.DEFINE the challenge they face.
The Training Team will support them to develop 3.IDEAS, then 4.TEST and 5.PROTOTYPE solutions.
What we hope this process will achieve for communities in the Border counties.
Innovating Communities will identify Challenges local people want to overcome and create networks of people, projects and plans to make change happen. The aim is to involve a minimum of 900 people across the Region (150 in Louth with 17 workshops across the 18 month period) that will result in joined-up thinking and methods to stimulate increased innovation, both locally and across the six counties.
About the Training
Design thinking training lays out a clear path for people to follow and encourages a positive
mind-set so people can learn about each other and their needs. The FIVE main stages have been tried and tested to ensure active participation and a simple route to solving problems.
After accepting a local Challenge that you want to tackle, participants will learn how to 1.EMPATHISE with the people affected and 2.DEFINE the challenge they face.
The Training Team will support you to develop 3.IDEAS, then 4.TEST and 5.PROTOTYPE solutions.
Ways to get involved in Innovating Communities
Become an Innovating Communities Challenger! Anyone can register for one of our Courses.
- Register yourself and a challenge for a course on the website innovating.ie
- By submitting a Challenge that your community is facing, you can increase the chances of it being addressed via Design Thinking in one of our Courses.
- Go to the Challenge Bank to submit yours – or if someone beat you to it, like and comment on that Challenge to show support ie/ideas
- Register your Group to the website – innovating.ie/groups
- If your community is facing a specific Challenge, or you already have an idea you need help getting off of the ground, add it to the Challenge Bank ie/ideas
The submitted Challenges will inform the Courses on offer for you and other Challengers.
Programme Co-ordinator – Derbhille Clarke, Project Animator & PR Officer.
Email – Derbhille.firstname.lastname@example.org