What Happened in 2014 - Part 1
Paul Braithwaite at BelTech 2014 talking about Tech for Social Good.

What Happened in 2014 - Part 1

11 December 2014

2014 was a really busy year for the Building Change Trust and there has been significant progress made in each of our five themes.

We kicked off the year with our Inspiring Impact NI initiative working with the NEETS Forum, co-ordinated by the Bryson Charitable Group, to deliver a detailed briefing on the background to and benefits of the framework.

Check out our full news story: Inspiring Impact Helps on Journey to Employment

In February the Trust played a role in allowing local communities to take more control of their energy bills at a ‘Community Energy’ event at Parliament Buildings. MLAs and key stakeholders met to discuss the issue of community energy, a relatively new concept here which has received far greater attention in GB.

Find out more about what happened: Trust helps investment in Community Energy

March saw the official launch of Inspiring Impact NI, a new initiative designed to help the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector (VCSE) place impact at the heart of what they do.

Inspiring Impact NI is part of the UK wide Inspiring Impact programme, which aims to change the way the VCSE, and their funders, think about impact and put impact practice at the centre of their work by 2022.

The launch event was held at the Mac in Belfast, with over 60 delegates including members of the sector, funders, academics and impact practitioners.

Read more about this news story: Trust launches Inspiring Impact NI

One of the busiest months of the year was April, with key strides being made in the fields of Digital Social Innovation and the Open Government Partnership (OGP).

The Trust kicked off the month by playing a significant role at the BelTech 2014 conference at the Europa Hotel, where some of the emerging technological advances from around the world were showcased and discussed.

We Trust used this opportunity to launch research it had commissioned into Digital Social Innovation. Ashley Elizabeth Ball from the Young Foundation presented the eagerly awaited findings on the potential for digital technology to be used for social good in Northern Ireland.

You can access more information here: Trust raises awareness of Digital Social Innovation

Later in the same week, leaders from the VCSE sector came together at NICVA to discuss recently released research on the potential for digital technology to be used for social good.

Following on from BelTech 2014 and the event held at NICVA, the Trust produced a combined report from both seminars. The report, which can be accessed here, highlights the input from key note speakers including Ashley Elizabeth Ball from the Young Foundation and the Lord Mayor of Belfast. 

As part of our work on Creative Space for Civic Thinking, The Building Change Trust called for the VCSE sector in Northern Ireland to engage in a debate around transparency, accountability and participation in government. The debate entitled “Participation, Transparency and Accountability, can we do better?” was launched by the Trust in April and several events to raise the awareness of the Open Government Partnership followed.

The OGP is an international framework of government commitments to transparency, accountability and citizen participation.

The Trust held a seminar on OGP in May of this year, during which its potential implementation in Northern Ireland was discussed in further detail. The event, which took place at Riddel Hall in Belfast, welcomed panellists from across the sector.

Ahead of the launch of our Civic Activism Fund, Building Change Trust ran a series of Idea Generation Workshops, designed to encourage innovation and creativity within the local Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Sector. The workshops were aiming to generate new and forward thinking ideas for civic activism projects in Northern Ireland.

In June the Building Change Trust exhibited at the Development Trusts NI (DTNI) conference entitled: The NI Conversation 2014 – Making Local Work. Development Trusts are enterprises created by communities to enable sustainable development in their area. They undertake a wide range of economic, environmental and social activities and services.

As independent not-for-private-profit organisations, they are committed to involving and being accountable to local people. You can find out more here.


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