Here you’ll find some great examples of Social Innovation from Northern Ireland and around the world.
To help you, we’ve split them up into the different stages of the Social Innovation Cycle.
This is the stage of idea generation. This can involve formal methods – such as design or creativity methods to widen the menu of options available. Many of the methods help to draw in insights and experiences from a wide range of sources.
A great example of this is the Young Foundation’s Amplify NI, which was funded by the Building Change Trust. This was a programme of community consultations and research carried out in 2014 that sought to tell unique stories from communities across Northern Ireland.
Amplify NI believe social transformation comes about when sufficient numbers of people across society establish a shared vision of a better world. They do this through storytelling, and this storytelling allows for a better understanding of communities and a unique opportunity to re-imagine the future of those communities. After the storytelling process, Amplify then lends support and direction to individuals, groups and organisations to take their ideas and innovations forward to the next stage. The 2014 Amplify NI programme came up with a whole host of ideas ranging from mindfulness programmes to youth development, employment programmes and the arts.
A great example of this is Ener Genius, who sought to mitigate fuel poverty by helping social landlords and their tenants “be energy clever”. They provide social landlords with the tools to measure and assess the energy efficiency of their homes leading to better informed decisions on retrofit options and provide tenants with actionable insights into their energy costs, and simple and efficient control of their central heating/domestic hot water systems.
It does this by using technology to, amongst other things, keep a detailed record of past energy spend, charting progress over time, and giving comparison to targets set by users as well as to similar homes. On top of this, the system can also track temperature, humidity and carbon monoxide levels throughout the house to further help users be in full control of their energy usage in their homes.
It can even send you a text if the heating has been left on at unusual times. You can see a full list of all the AmplifyNI ideas, along with some great videos explaining them, here.