Top 5 Social Innovators to Look For
There is no doubt that 2014 is presenting a challenging time for the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector. As organisations respond to the changing environment, new solutions are being found to address existing social problems and, with this, creative social innovators are grabbing our attention.
Here are just five of the top social innovators, individuals, projects, products and organisations you should be watching out for in the UK and Northern Ireland:
Nesta - @nesta_uk
Leading instigators of social innovation, Nesta is an independent charity with a mission to help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. This charity is dedicated to supporting ideas that can help improve all our lives, with activities ranging from early stage investment to in-depth research and practical programmes.
As Managing Director of Social Innovation Camp, Glen Mehn helps to match software developers and those with an understanding of a social problem to help them start and grow technology-based social ventures. Glen has designed and run innovation programmes for early-stage start-ups in 13 countries. Social Innovation Camp creates programmes for private, public, and social-sector organisations, helping build technical solutions to social challenges.
“Where Is My Public Servant?” (WIMPS) is a Belfast-based project run by and for young people. They have created an online platform for young people to discuss and debate public issues with the aim of making politics more relevant to this generation. They are aiming to harness their collective power for campaigning purposes in the future.
Social Impact Tracker @impact_tracker
Social Impact Tracker is the product of Cunamh ICT, a social enterprise from Derry-Londonderry. Since 2006 they have worked with charities, social enterprises, council and voluntary organisations to influence and improve the way digital technology can be used to make operations more efficient. Through impact measurement they hope that organisations can achieve their own goals. Social Impact Tracker is used throughout Ireland and Britain by organisations in a variety of sectors.
Good for Nothing @g00dfornothing
Created by tech entrepreneur Tom Farrand, Good for Nothing is an online community of people who are working together to help innovators make a positive social impact. The group try to solve challenges collaboratively – both on and offline – through gigs, collaboration events, meetings and at their web home. Challenges are posted and members will supply ideas on how best to find a solution. The organisations benefit from the talent and skills of the members and, likewise, the members get to give back to projects that will make a big difference to their communities.
Glen Mehn will be one of the key speakers at Building Change Trust’s plenary session at BelTech2014 this week. For more information and to keep up to date with our work in this area, follow @ChangeTrust on Twitter.