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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Youth In Action: Be innovators: Make a Social Change

by Ganna (a participant from Ukraine)

In January 2014, an “out of the box” Youth in Action project entitled “Be innovators: Make a social change” was organized by Global Human Rights Defence for 25 participants representing NGOs from Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Romania, Armenia, Serbia and the Netherlands.

The main aim of this project was to introduce the concept of social entrepreneurship as a means of sustainable and independent functioning for an NGO working in the youth field or any other field.

The project was designed as a training course based on non-formal education methods such as discussions, debates, presentations and workshops etc.

A very clear and precise image of a social enterprise was introduced to the participants by Jonathan Talbott from Talbott International presentations who outlined the main characteristics of social entrepreneurship and stressed the differences between its use in non-profitable and business activities. The introduction to the topic was then taken over by Peter van Poortvliet who represented Cordaid, a civil society organization which focuses on development within vulnerable regions and areas of conflict. In addition, a meeting with representatives from Enviu, an organization that focuses on co-creation and business-development, greatly contributed to the overall understanding of the idea of social entrepreneurship.

Participants also had a unique chance to meet social activists from the NGO Stitchting Mytikas. This NGO uses innovative approaches in their work with youth and has conducted many interesting and comprehensive workshops with organizations based in The Hague, The Netherlands that work with sexual minorities, people with disabilities, migrants and refugees.

During the event, it was not just ideas of potential social enterprises that were discussed among participants. The training course also brought forward innovative and creative approaches of design thinking. The GHRD team also presented a workshop based on methodology obtained from Stanford University which gave participants a thoughtful, step-by-step explanation of how to design ideas in a unique and interesting manner.

The training course “Be innovators: Make a social change” was seen as a turning point for many participants in their perceptions of NGO functioning and further development. Innovative ideas were taken back to the participant’s home countries and I believe one day in the near future we will see outstanding activities from the NGOs who attended the event. 

Disclaimer: Blog posts do not necessarily reflect the views of Global Human Rights Defence.

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