Community Innovators

Developing new solutions to real-world social, economic or environmental challenges!

Community Innovators a creative approach to problem-solving putting end-users at the centre of the solution focusing on experimentation, prototyping and evidence-gathering as key methods.

The programme is free to access and is for voluntary, community or social enterprise organisations who would like support to explore and develop new solutions to a real-world social, economic or environmental challenge. All organisations who complete the Community Innovators Programme will be eligible to apply for a grant from the Foundation’s Social Innovation Seed Fund to help them deliver the idea or ideas they develop through participation in the programme.

Please note: Community Innovators is currently closed for applications.

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How the Programme works

Once selected onto the programme teams will be taken through a series of facilitated workshops, starting with further refining their challenge and helping them gel as a team.

Teams will gather user insights to help ‘get into the shoes’ of a person experiencing the challenge they’re working on. This will be the foundation for the ‘ideation’ phase where teams come up with as many ideas for solutions as possible. These will gradually be combined, adapted and whittled down over the subsequent weeks until only one idea is left. The final stage is to build a physical prototype (model) of their idea – literally getting their hands dirty – to show to the other teams and potential users for feedback.

All teams completing the Community Innovators Programme will be eligible to apply for the Social Innovation NI Seed Fund to enable them to start delivering their solution for real.

“Community Innovators has injected a fresh and inventive thinking process to our team when developing ideas for our projects. Not only have we been successful in two application processes resulting in our Ready Steady Agewell and Hard to Swallow campaigns but we have now embedded the design thinking process in our everyday development process, helping us continue to create alternative approaches to helping our older people to agewell.”

Sarah McLaughlin
(MEAAP – Mid & East Antrim Agewell Partnership)

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Who to speak to

Community Foundation Logo

Innovation & Voice Team

For more information on this programme, contact Paul or Gemma from our Innovation and Voice team:

Paul Braithwaite, Head of Innovation and Voice – pbraithwaite@communityfoundationni.org

Gemma McCaughley, Programme Officer – gmccaughley@communityfoundationni.org

Community Foundation Logo

Innovation & Voice Team

For more information on this programme, contact Paul or Gemma from our Innovation and Voice team:

Paul Braithwaite, Head of Innovation and Voice – pbraithwaite@communityfoundationni.org

Gemma McCaughley, Programme Officer – gmccaughley@communityfoundationni.org

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