Trust raises awareness of Digital Social Innovation
The Trust's Paul Braithwaite at the 2014 BelTech Conference where the Trust launched research into Digital Social Innovation.

Trust raises awareness of Digital Social Innovation

07 April 2014

The Building Change Trust played a key role at last week’s BelTech 2014 conference.

Business leaders from around the world joined forces with the Northern Ireland Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector to showcase and discuss emerging technological advances.

In line with its work on Social Innovation, the 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.

Technological change has always been one of the main drivers of innovation and the internet allows organisations to connect globally, perform tasks digitally and reach millions of people at the touch of a button. Applying these attributes to social problems could save the VCSE sector time and money.

Paul Braithwaite, who heads up Building Change Trust’s work on Social Innovation said: “Too often the people with the technical expertise and the people working on social problems are disconnected. BelTech 2014 offered us an opportunity to bring these important sectors together and to improve understanding of social innovation as a concept".

He continued: “Currently the VCSE sectors main use of digital technology and the internet tends to be for communicating with supporters, fundraising and marketing. The tech sector can help VCSE organisations break out of these limitations and consider how digital technology can be applied to their core work in resolving social problems".

As a follow up to this, the Trust will be hosting an event for the VCSE Sector at NICVA on the 10th April which will allow organisations who were unable to attend BelTech to come and discuss, in detail, the Young Foundation’s findings.

If you would like to attend, please register on Eventbrite.

The Trust is committed to social innovation as a key theme for the next five years and  will seek to influence the emergence of a broad ‘ecosystem’ of individuals and organisations from all sectors committed to embedding social innovation approaches within Northern Ireland.

For more information and to keep up to date with our work in this area visit the Social Innovation section of our website or, follow @ChangeTrust on Twitter.