The Melting Pot and Social Innovation NI

The Melting Pot and Social Innovation NI

01 December 2015

The Building Change Trust just announced the Melting Pot have been appointed to help develop our exciting new Social Innovation NI initiative.

The Melting Pot are Scotland’s Centre for Social Innovation and have a depth of experience in bringing innovative solutions to social problems through their base in Edinburgh which is a co-working space for socially innovative projects.

They stimulate and support social innovation, providing dynamic resources for social change makers.  Their spaces and services enable people to work, meet, connect, learn, and hold events – all to make the world a better place.

Pioneers of co-working in Scotland, their rich and diverse community access a specially designed, multi-functional, serviced office space in addition to a programme of inspiring, practical and connecting events. 

Working on a membership basis, they work with any individuals or organisations who are ‘working for a better world’, actively supporting the next generation of social innovators through a special annual incubation programme.

A major recent piece of work was  the facilitation of a multi-stakeholder dialogue process for the Scottish Government on Understanding the conditions for Social Innovation to flourish.

Five key factors emerged from these conversations:

Encourage – Literally lend courage and support to those seeking to address inequality, those who are questioning the status quo, creating disruption and taking risks.

Foster connections, creativity and the generation of ideas amongst innovators in all sectors.  Enabling genuine participation and collaboration across sectors releases socially innovative ideas.

Cultivate local solutions where social innovators can work with communities to define and co-design solutions within their community context.

Create safe places and spaces for learning, reflection and sharing all the stories: the successes, the tricky moments, the failures, the highs the lows of experience.

Invest in social innovation – provide the physical resources to enable social innovators to work with focus, purpose, determination and persistence.

The question is, can these principles be adopted and take root in Northern Ireland?

With Social Innovation NI, we hope this will be the case.

Social Innovation NI will be a ‘one stop shop’ through which social innovations in Northern Ireland can access practical and financial supports for social innovations at all stages - whether brand new ideas, prototypes needing testing, or proven, transformative approaches that are ready to be implemented at scale.

It will aim to create the space for this to happen by inviting all the key stakeholders – VCSE organisations and networks, funders, government departments, public agencies and private companies - with a commitment to enabling or practicing social innovation in Northern Ireland to engage with us in co-designing a collaborative approach that enables us to be ‘more than the sum of our parts.

You can follow along with the developments of Social Innovation NI on Twitter by following @ChangeTrust or by checking out #SocialInnovationNI

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