The last 24 months have been the period of gestation for Eurekaha. The idea for a social enterprise, which engages young people in design thinking projects that address social challenges, was born from a corporate initiative to engage the education sector. As with many things in the corporate world, these ideas come and go. BUT Eurekaha sowed its seed in the minds of a few, and myself and two other co-founders decided to act on our learning and spin out a non-profit start-up, Eurekaha.
Eurekaha will be used to explore, test and develop a hypothesis; that the creation of inter-generational teams who work together to develop an awareness of design thinking, and use this to pursue social projects could be a vehicle for:
i. Development of soft skills in young people
ii. Development of mutual understanding and learning between generations
iii. Development of greater social awareness
iv. Creation of social value through working with charities and non-profits
v. Development of employees, acting as a target for CSR initiatives and a means in which to bring the learning and experience of social innovation back into an organisation.
In the short term we are initiating a pilot project in partnership with Bridgwater & Taunton College, starting in September 2017. The Eurekaha team will develop a model to coach students in the basics of design thinking, and work with them to tackle a challenge in partnership with a local charity. Crucially, we will do this whilst remaining in full time employment, thus testing the viability and reality of this as a broader vehicle for volunteering.
Somerset faces a combination of a soft skills deficit, an aging demographic, complex social challenges and unprecedented economic growth driven by major infrastructure developments. This mix makes the region a prime location for testing and developing the Eurekaha model. Please take time to visit the Eurekaha blog for more information.
Our vision is to build a platform to enable and support independently organised Eurekaha projects on an international scale, whether part of an enhanced educational model, corporate CSR initiative, or local grass roots action.
We are looking for people to support us in developing the model, platform and movement. If you are able to offer your time and expertise or can connect us to charities we could engage with, please get in touch.
- In times of austerity and uncertainty, we face gaps in the provision of state services, leading to increased social pressure and an increasing reliance on volunteers.
- We are living in a time of continual change. Technology is redefining social interaction and working models, generational gaps are emerging, with a soft skills gap among younger people being cited as a source of major concern by today’s employers.
- The challenges we face are becoming more complex, connected and intractable. As the world becomes increasingly uncertain, design-thinking skills are becoming increasingly important in the workplace and society. To design is to understand uncertainty.