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
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.
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.