Paul Braithwaite, leading social innovation 

Foundation News

Paul Braithwaite, leading social innovation 

4 Dec 2020

We are thrilled to announce our colleague Paul Braithwaite has been highly commended for the C03 Social Innovation Award. An award which celebrates individuals who have harnessed innovation to help people live healthier, happier and more prosperous lives.


Social Innovation comes in many shapes and forms, from inventing and building life-changing products to devising far-reaching policies and campaigns, to creators who have come up with new answers to age-old issues.


Paul set up Social Innovation Northern Ireland, a collaboration established to make it easier for those with innovative solutions to social challenges access the support they need to deliver their ideas with impact and at scale; and developed it’s two flagship programmes –  Techies in Residence and Community Innovators. The programmes have supported 38 innovative projects to date across Northern Ireland, generating creative solutions to real-life challenges.  Just one example, the ground­breaking JAM Card which allows people with a learning difficulty, autism or Asperger’s to tell others that they need ‘Just A Minute’ discreetly and easily, helping them overcome communication barriers.  


One of the key principles of both these programmes has been to make innovation really practical and accessible for organisations and individuals in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. Both programmes provide support throughout the whole process i.e design thinking, technical support, prototyping, testing and both programmes finish with potential funding to develop an idea further.


Andrew McCracken, CEO Community Foundation, “The environment of the third sector in Northern Ireland doesn’t always encourage innovation, with his persistence Paul has been a voice for social innovation and an enabler.­ Paul is energised and motivated by finding new ways of doing things, and thinking outside the box to solve problems. His continuous creativity is a welcomed asset., We are excited to see new solutions form from the recent round of Techies in Residence which has just finished recruiting for this year. A massive congratulations Paul from everyone at the Foundation.” 


You can find out more about Techies in Residence here, or the Civic Innovation programme here. 



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