Posts Tagged ‘innovation’
The vInspired bods behind Igniter know exactly how you can get the public to financially support your inspired ideas.
In January we launched Igniter, a brand new crowdfunding platform for young people to raise the funds they need from members of the public to run their own projects. It was a great success with all 8 projects fully funded within the first 3 weeks. We’re looking for more young people to share their creativity with us so we can help you to get the money you need to do something amazing.
After all, what good are great ideas without a way to tell everyone about them?
Whether you have the tiniest seed of an idea or have a project you’ve been running for a while, we want to hear from you. Projects that have been featured so far vary from promoting mental health to supporting young people into employment to starting a social enterprise to raise money for charity.
As today is World Creativity and Innovation Day, we’ve put together some top tips from our own creators and innovators.
Top tips for crowdfunding:
- Promote! Promote! Promote! Tweet everyone, email everyone, Facebook everyone, ask your friends, family, colleagues, boss etc. Don’t just do it once either, make sure you keep doing it throughout the time that your page is open.
- Have a realistic goal – don’t set your target too high. It may put people off donating and if you don’t reach it, you won’t get any money at all.
- Have a realistic time frame. Short time frames work better. With long time frames people think ‘I’ll do it later’ and never do.
- Make friends with others on Igniter (you can easily do this via Twitter) and help to promote each other’s projects – it really does work!
- Publicly say thank you to people who have donated via your social media accounts.
- Be clear about the aims of your project and be clear about what you want the money for. Create a video which explains all of this in a couple of minutes.
To find out more and apply visit: www.vinspired.com/igniter. Happy Creativity and Innovation Day!
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Cutting your carbon footprint, wearing a seat belt and jogging; apart from their impact on our environment do you notice any similarities?
I didn’t either until the other day. vInspired staff became the lucky recipients of a presentation delving into the world of ‘Behaviour Change Campaigning’ as part our ‘Innovation Lunch’ series. Delivered by the impressively qualified Hugh Mouser, whose repertoire of work includes Amnesty International, Global Witness, Age Concern UK and 38 Degrees, this was guaranteed to be better than a jam sandwich.
Behaviour Change Campaigning
Short of sounding like something a visit to a hypnotherapist promises; behaviour change campaigning is fast embedding itself into the third sector’s social artillery and achieving an impressive range of outcomes.
Through researching and tapping into your target groups’ current influences, behavioural patterns and value systems in order to introduce new patterns of behaviour for social good.
Examples range from 10:10’s focus on individuals, schools and workplaces to take action in combatting climate change; the invention of the ‘jogging’ craze’ by Nike; Time To Change’s fight against mental health discrimination through promoting public discussion, ‘salon chat’ and human libraries.
To me this sounds like marketing with a social conscious; which gets me excited. The government may be well versed in legal frameworks and policy yet bottom-up approaches can remind us that we to are able to step up and shape the world around us.
What would you change?
So what would you change about today’s behavioural patterns in order to make a positive impact on the community and world you live in?
I was thinking about my general dislike of consumerism and waste, which is always then followed by a guilty feeling epitomised by my rather large clothes collection – enough for a small family with only about 2% of them in use.
So I thought why not make a pledge to not buy any brand new clothes for a whole year and only buy from Charity Shops. This consumerist cleanse is bound to transform me into Charity Shop Champion, supporting local causes as well as finessing my recycling and patchwork skills.
So what about you? Where do you see that a simple change in your actions and behaviour could make a lasting difference to your communities, world and beyond?
Answers on a postcard please (or a simple comment will do)!
Last week at vInspired, we had the pleasure of welcoming John-Paul Flintoff to speak at our regular Innovation Lunch. These lunches provide an important opportunity for vInspired staff to meet, learn from and be inspired by individuals who are using their skills and talents to make a difference.
At first glance, John-Paul’s credentials don’t mark him out as someone who wants to change the world. As an experienced journalist, writing for the Financial Times and Sunday Times among others, it’s easy to imagine Flintoff as a cynical old hack, with little interest in making a difference. However, it’s clear within minutes that Flintoff is different.
Indeed, it was precisely his own journalistic investigation into sweatshops in Manhattan that inspired him to learn how to make his own clothes – and then encourage others to do the same. ‘These days, we don’t make things, we just buy them,’ he explains – an approach which dulls our own sense of agency and our understanding of how clothes are made.
He shows off his attire, and explains how with the help of his Great Aunt Peggy, a YouTube group called ThreadBanger and a second-hand treadle sewing machine, he learnt how to cut patterns and sew his own shirts and jeans. The results are impressive and Flintoff is fiercely enthusiastic about the learning and discovery process that underpins his new hand-made wardrobe.
He explained how a network of friends, relatives, a local seamstress, a haberdashery and online resources helped him to perfect his art: ‘Every time I made a mistake, I thought YES, I’m one step closer to getting it right.’ And when you find out that he now grows hemp and nettles so that he can spin his own yarn to make Y-fronts, you can see how far he’s come.
Changing the world
Flintoff’s latest project is no less awe-inspiring – he’s out to change the world and to share his world-changing tips with others. He’s the first to acknowledge that it’s a pretty ambitious goal, and that anyone who says they want to change the world runs the risk of being laughed at – or at least perceived as a bit odd. But he’s steadfast in his view that we all have the creativity, resources and passion to make positive change happen. As Flintoff points out, ‘We all make history, all the time – through the infinitesimally small actions that we take (or don’t take) every day.’
We’re already change-makers, whether we know it or not, and Flintoff’s latest book, ‘How to change the world,’ is designed to help us direct our energies towards the things we most want to change. ‘Be clear about what needs fixing’ advises Flintoff – once you know precisely what the problem is, you’ll be better equipped to identify possible solutions.
He also encourages a step-by-step approach to making change happen, by crowd-sourcing ideas and solutions, cherry-picking your favourite ideas and taking action. ‘Don’t over-think the problem – it will become huge, alarming and too big to deal with,’ he explains. ‘Each step leads you further down the path of change, so start now and get on with it!’’
So, who cares if people laugh or think you’re a bit odd? You CAN change the world. Starting now!
John Paul Flintoff’s new book, ‘How to change the world’ is available now.
Upon meeting vinspired’s Youth Advisory Board, I was amazed at what a clever, creative and innovative bunch of people they were and what a valuable asset they all were to a young people’s charity. It got me thinking: why aren’t groups like this being set up and used in the commercial sector? For example, retail.
It’s common practice for businesses to hold focus groups in order to gain a better understanding of their customers’ needs and behaviours. But most of the time, these people are complete strangers with very little understanding of how the business operates internally.
Last month, the ‘Queen of Shops’, Mary Portas warned that the high street is in serious decline and that many businesses needed to innovate or face extinction.
Having your own youth board specifically tied to improving business performance throughout the organisation may be the breath of fresh air that many industries need in this economic climate.
Sir Philip Green announced last month that he’s closing around 250 of his Arcadia stores, with almost a third of employees being young 16-24 years old.
But businesses need to think very carefully before they lay off their young staff – especially if (in Philip Green’s case) they are the company’s primary customer base. Their grass roots experience may just hold that golden nugget in keeping your business alive in 2012.
With the online retail sector looking to break the £56 billion mark by 2014, businesses need to take advantage of the new digitally savvy members of Generation Y/Z and use their fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to move forward. Setting up your own youth board may be the answer.
They say the children are the future, but they are also your customers – listen or lose ‘em.
It would be (quite literally) the understatement of the century to say that digital technology has come a long way since 1988, when teaching of ICT in schools first became compulsory.
Yes, the “there’s an app for that” culture of present day is a far cry from the basic computer usage for word processing twenty years ago. So you might expect that schools have been keeping up and altering tech teaching to ensure its relevance to the modern world. Right?
Wrong. Ofsted delivered a damning verdict of ICT teaching in schools last week. Its conclusion: schools simply aren’t doing enough to make technology lessons current and engaging enough for young people.
We now live in a world where everything from the way we shop, to how we socialise or listen to music has been (mostly) enhanced by a combination of the internet’s ubiquity and the astonishing ingenuity of the latest app or gadget. Yet schools’ teaching of the subject seems to have done the equivalent of sitting in a darkened room, feeling a bit miserable.
But going forward there is hope. From calls for coding skills to “become the new Latin”, to a brilliant scheme run by Apps for Good, where pupils in south London are taking part in a competition to design their own smartphone apps, the penny seems to finally be dropping that it’s time for ICT teaching to get up to speed with the 21st century.
In light of the present tough economic situation, schools and businesses alike should realise that investment now in the development of these kinds of skills among young people will ultimately reap rewards in the future.
At vinspired, the use of technology is at the heart of everything we do to assist young people. Our website helps young people find meaningful volunteering opportunities and our own smartphone app is the result of our belief in constantly innovating to help young people realise their potential in the easiest possible way.
If you’ve studied ICT at school in recent years, what’s your verdict? Would app-building or blogging lessons make you more likely to take up the subject? Share your thoughts here.