What Happened in 2014 - Part 2
(Left to Right) Peter Osborne and Simon Hamilton MLA with the Trust's Nigel McKinney and Joe McVey at the launch of the Open Government Partnership in November 2014.

What Happened in 2014 - Part 2

18 December 2014

From July until December we really ramped up our activity levels on every theme. Our news feed is packed full with stories of master classes, seminars, roundtables, awards and workshops. We had a very busy calendar and we hope that the sector has benefited as a result.

In July the Trust was pleased to announce it had awarded a further two year contract to CollaborationNI, representing an investment of over £400,000 in support of collaboration for the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector here in Northern Ireland. 

This will allow CollaborationNI to deliver collaboration support to the VCSE, and it follows on from a Trust award in 2011 to a consortium of NICVA, CO3 and Stellar Leadership, which was a three year contract to begin providing collaboration support to organisations, and to raise awareness about collaboration and the skills required to make it a success.

As part of our work on Social Finance we held a free master class on community shares and crowdfunding in August.

As part of the Community Shares, Ready! Project commissioned by the Building Change Trust, Co-operative the training session was delivered by Jo Bird, a specialist practitioner with 20 years’ experience in developing co-operatives, in collaboration with Tiziana O’Hara, Co-operative Development Officer in Co-operative Alternatives.

The seminar provided the most up to date information on Industrial and Provident Societies and sharing resources on successful co-operative business models.

In October the first policy roundtable in Phase Two of CollaborationNI was held at The Long Gallery in Stormont. 60 delegates gathered to examine the potential of supply chains as a model of collaboration. Politicians, civil servants and third sector leaders took part in the discussion, with a range of speakers providing their expertise and experience on the matter.

November saw the Trust taking a stand and sharing the opinion that an Open Government may be the shift change that Stormont needs.

The Building Change Trust, along with a wide range of Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector representatives highlighted the benefits of a more open and participative government on 5th November at an event at Malone House in Belfast.

The Trust were joined by the Minister for Finance and Personnel, Simon Hamilton MLA, Lizetta Lyster representing the UK Cabinet Office, Queen's University Belfast's Professor John Barry, Anne Colgan, Chair of Irish OGP Civil Society Forum, and speakers from across the UK and Ireland, at the event designed to progress an open government agenda in Northern Ireland.

The first SI Camp took place at Crumlin Road Gaol at the end of November. Students from various disciplines, colleges and universities came together to try to find digital solutions to some of the most pressing social issues affecting local communities. They had the opportunity to attempt to solve a live social challenge during which they developed a concept for the end user.

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