Monday, 30 May 2016

11. blog post ENG

Social innovations which apply to me

Our social innovation ideas are here on our Facebook page. We are waiting for yours!

With this project on social innovation I started to realize existing social innovations around. It is clear that the innovator was a person who was not afraid of looking for new solutions. Personally, I most like initiatives based on connecting people of all ages, backgrounds and needs who are willing to share valuable stuff they already don't need or their skills, knowledge and good will. I admire if someone can give it a shape and it works. Below, there are a few examples - using them will be money wise, enriching, ecological, adventurous and will give you an opportunity to learn some useful stuff. They respect principles such as reliability, trust, authenticity, being friendly to the environment and the joy of learning. I used most of them and can warmly recommend the same to you.
CouchSurfing - stay with locals free of charge

Airbnb - local accommodation around the world – money wise and enjoyable

NAUČMESE - sharing skills and knowledge

Bla Bla Car - cheap travelling and new contacts, environmental friendly

Similarly as others at the beginning, I first needed to work out how to realize my social innovation idea. I have chosen crowdfunding as apart from earning the initial money, I needed to present my idea to a lot of people. I got a video animation done and posted it on HitHit - a post is there for 40 days and during that time it has to raise all money. Hard work – I did not know I had to be a successful online marketing specialist! It is a must to take care of your contribution as if it was a product in a shop – promote it, support it by accompanying events, call to action your friends and their friends and their friends. In short, those 40 days will keep you super-busy, mate. I didn´t make it then but at least I know how to do it better next time. It may be useful to watch the seminar on how to be successful on a crowdfunding platform before opening your project.

Nowadays, ideas of young people are often supported by big companies as they are seen as prospective customers. That is why their corporate social responsibility programmes focusing on young people are a powerful marketing tool. 
For example SMART UP or Vpohybu run in the Czech republic. Both provide educational and networking support. Entering them will give you an opportunity to learn a format called project – if you can transfer your idea into a project, you will have a chance to raise money via various community fundations and public bodies, local or international. An example of a local one is NadaceVeronica (Brno, Czech republic). On the other side of the spectrum it is the European Social Fund – you may be surprised to see how many buildings and services in your community have been funded by that source, which is called a grant, reaching amounts of millions Czech crowns.  

Having a heart of an entrepreneur? For innovators with business minds, there are programmes of support such as Nastartujte se of the Commercial Bank which has funded start ups such as Skinners (socks-shoes) or an instrument of accident prevention DataFromSky. A young entrepreneur, most probably a university student, would use a business incubator for developing his/her idea and a co-working centre such as ImpactHub in Brno to meet inspiring people and find contacts. An interview with the founder of the Impact Hub is here (only in Czech).

On a much smaller scale of a secondary school teenager, you may get a support at your school or local municipality – it will need a skill to communicate how the community will benefit from your idea if it is realized. It is also very important to know that a big thing takes time to mature – months, even years. Will you be able to keep going and not to give up? Keep visiting us – we will publish interviews with people who did not give the process up and now they represent a successful social innovator.

This blog is a part of the project Empowering Youth To Become Social Innovators, realised under the Erasmus+ partnership programme. The project is coordinated by a Czech NGO DYNAMA, z.s., seated in Brno and an Estonian NGO Youth Club Active, seated in Tallinn. This project contributes to the development of non formal learning of the youth.

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