Social Innovation Skills Programme

The Social Innovation Skills Programme is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland and is for individuals and organisations with an interest in learning some of the key social innovation methods and applying them to a real world challenge facing communities in Northern Ireland.

After a successful first round in early 2017, the SI Skills Programme re-opens for applications on 12th September 2017 with a view to recruiting up to 15 new teams to participate in the programme in 2018.

Work West supported by Enterprise North West and the Community Foundation for NI are delivering a two phase programme of group workshops and mentoring based around a Human-Centred Design methodology.

Human-Centred Design is a creative approach to problem solving that puts end users at the centre of the solution and focuses on experimentation, prototyping and evidence-gathering as key methods.

The programme is free to access and all applicants need is an issue they’re passionate about, an interest in social innovation and the time and ambition to develop an innovative new solution to their challenge together with their team.

Those thinking of applying should first come along to one of Social Innovation NI’s introductory workshops, being delivered throughout Northern Ireland by NICVA during autumn 2017 (see here for more info).

Then, if the SI Skills Programme seems a good fit you can apply via the application form on the website (see below for link). The application deadline is Friday 1st December 2017 and successful applicants will be notified before Christmas.

In 2018 Social Innovation NI is delighted to be able to treble the number of places available on the programme to 15 organisations/teams. Of these, 10 will be directly supported by Work West and Enterprise North-West and a further 5 will be supported by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland.

Those receiving a place on the Social Innovation Skills Programme will then be invited to nominate their teams (of up to 4) with a common interest in the same challenge. Teams will then be taken through a facilitated programme of six workshops starting in January 2018 to further refine their challenge and help them gel as a team.

In addition Work West, Enterprise North West and the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland will provide a combination of in-person and remote mentoring for teams to help them get the most out of the process and troubleshoot any challenges that arise.

There will be a final workshop where all 15 teams will come together to share their findings, experience and innovative solutions. Teams will receive mentoring support to help implement their new solutions.

All teams completing the Social Innovation Skills Programme will then be eligible to apply for the Social Innovation NI seed fund to enable them to start delivering their solution for real.

If you think the Social Innovation Skills programme could be for you, fill out our application form, tell us what social problem you’d like to solve and we’ll let you know if we are able to offer you a place.