The SIKE unit and its social innovation space will be able to draw on the unique local, national and international expertise and experience of GCU (as Scotland’s academic partner), The Melting Pot (as Scotland’s practitioner partner) and Social Innovation Exchange (as the UK practitioner partner and dissemination lead in the SIKE project).
Social Innovation Space will work to reinforce GCU’s distinct position as the University for the Common Good that works to harness its intellectual, social and emotional capital, collaborate with others to find solutions to some of society’s most pressing challenges and deliver social benefit to the communities we serve. As such, the mission of Social Innovation Space directly aligns with GCU’s overarching vision (‘have a global reputation for delivering social benefit and impact through education, research and social innovation’) and goals:
- Transforming lives through education
- Enriching cities and communities through research
- Innovating for social and economic impact
- Engaging globally
- Aligning for the Common Good
Recent activities in the SIKE Unit include:
- Catalyst workshop run with the Melting Pot
- Range of workshops delivered online particularly around sharing the experience of Covid-19, and pivoting/innovating during this time, and aimed at connecting/engaging partners on a continuous basis while showcasing key themes and each other’s work
- Ran a SIX Wayfinder dine around with partners, collecting their thoughts on recent trends in SI
- Ongoing support of key stakeholders already developing businesses in social innovation/impact within Uhatch
- Development of an online suite of e-learning resources and inspiring content aimed specifically at those wanting to start a social enterprise
- Work ongoing with local government to develop synergies and ways to work together to support citizens in Glasgow – this has moved forward now to two potential hub sites, and one going ahead as a pilot in the Greater Pollok area
- Potential open challenges for Glaswegians to address
- Series of connection on specific areas in deep-dive sessions with the Melting Pot members
- Enhancement of Glocal space for Uhatch users as services moved online
- A programme of matchmaking between areas of innovation and research in GCU and international markets in social innovation
- Development of support for students on social enterprise/entrepreneurship visas
- Firstport to move some staff into the Unit and will be able to support users with start up social enterprise support and funding
The Social Innovation Space, which will support knowledge exchange for social innovation, will attract a range of internal (academics and students) and external stakeholders (private entities, public bodies, SI experts and mentors). Above all, the space will enable collaboration and mutual learning processes.
The Social Innovation Space will have a presence throughout the university campus and particularly at GCU’s incubation space, U-Hatch.
GCU SIKE hub
SIKE Hub works to reinforce GCU’s distinct position as the University for the Common Good that works to harness its intellectual, social and emotional capital, collaborate with others to find solutions to some of society’s most pressing challenges and deliver social benefit to the communities we serve. In particular, the university is committed to contributing to three major societal challenges across the world – building inclusive societies, living healthy lives and creating sustainable environments. More information can be found here.
The UK SIKE cases are The Community Orientated and Opportunity Learning (COOL) Music Project and Wee Seeds
The Community Orientated and Opportunity Learning (COOL) Music Project engages with disadvantaged young people (aged 10-21) to create opportunities for equal development and innovative inclusion. Funded by the European Social Fund and the Scottish Government, COOL Music is designed to support wellbeing through personal development, alternative approaches to education/literacy, learning new skills for life and employment. By doing so it aims to help young people realise their potential and positively transform their life. The project is a joint initiative of Community Interest Company, Heavy Sound, and GCU.
Wee Seeds is a start-up social venture that creates tools for parents and children to share the benefits of mindfulness. Wee Seeds is working towards a society where pre-schoolers’ emotional literacy, mental well-being and inner strength are considered as important as learning to read and write. The social enterprise (Community Interest Company governance structure) is a graduate of the 2017 cohort of the Good Ideas incubator, by The Melting Pot, Edinburgh. Good Ideas is delivered in partnership with GCU who provide concept oversight and monitoring & evaluation support.