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Henderson Social Innovation Classroom @ the Good Lab
Over the years, the Good Lab has seen an increasing interest in social innovation in Hong Kong. It is with this interest that many have asked us to know more about social innovation. Although we offer many courses and events on social innovation from a variety of organisations in Hong Kong, there has yet to be one course that has been designed to give a good overview of social innovation and the techniques and skills in this field outside of formal education.
That is, until now.
Starting in November 2016, we are proud to announce the first course for this, Henderson Social Innovation Classroom. Taking place in the evenings and weekends over 6 weeks, you'll be inspired by social innovation around the world, get to know more about the social issues in Hong Kong first hand and then use design thinking approaches to develop prototypes that can help the community.
This course will give a thorough understanding of social innovation and design thinking and is designed for young people between the ages of 18 to 30 years of age. You will ideally be in your last years of education, just finished formal education, or early in your professional career and want to know more about what you can do to make a difference in this city as an individual and also through your workplace. The design thinking skill sets and tools you’ll learn will be able to be applied in your community and in your job as well.
Whether you want to create change in your community, create change through your company in the community, or do things more effectively for society in your organisation now, this course is for you. The Social Innovation Classroom wants to create a fellowship of social entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs who all will work together and with each other to make Hong Kong a better place for future generations.
Key learning points from the Social Innovation Classroom
The 2nd class for Social Innovation Classroom start on 10 February 2017 and runs to 17 March 2017.
Running through Friday and Saturday, the first session sees us jumping right into the social issues of our society, and explores the different approaches that communities around the world have addressed them. We’ll look at inspirational initiatives from around the world and then come back to meet innovators working in communities here in Hong Kong. Case studies will address all different social issues at different scales, but they always trace back to one origin - a group of people with a passion to improve the lives and communities of those around them, and the courage and dream to be the change they want to see in the world.
Week 2 - Designing for social innovation
We are all well aware of the social issues that impact our society. The solutions to them are often complex and involve a number of stakeholders and interests. In design thinking, we call these ‘wicked problems.” To find appropriate solutions to tackle these issues, design thinking was created as a answer. This methodology was pioneered by Stanford University and companies like IDEO, and in week 2, we’ll take you through a variety of tools and processes that community entrepreneurs and the most innovative companies in the world use to create impactful solutions to some of the hard to solve issues facing our world today.
Week 3 - Field trip to the community
By week 3, you will have had a good understanding of social innovation and the design thinking methodologies that innovators use to come up with effective solutions. Now it’s your turn! We will venture into the community, talking to gai fong, and understanding from their eyes what their needs are in the community, and not through the eyes of what we see in the media. We will learn to empathize and walk in their shoes. After our discussion, how has your perceptions changed? What have we learned by viewing things from a different angle? We’ll then take these insights with us and explore them further before our next session the week after.
Week 4 - Idea Generation Weekend
Over the previous month, you would have been exposed to many social issues and also found out how they were being addressed in many new ways. Which social issue did you have a passion for? Now it’s time to find others in the course that feel the same way and start creating more concrete plans to test out. We will continue using the design thinking approach to ask ourselves the questions we need to consider as we create prototypes to test in the community. Each team will have a small budget available to them to test out their idea in the field, or create any materials they will need for the prototype.
Week 5 - Prototype testing clinic
All good plans need to be tested to know if they will work. We will invite social innovators in with experience in the field to give comments and feedback on your prototype. You will also have the opportunity to go back into the field to ask the community what they think of your ideas and your approach? The invaluable feedback you will get will allow you to receive critical information on your prototype. It’s your chance to tweak your idea and get ready to present your idea next week to the public. A short workshop will be conducted here to give you the basic tips on presenting and pitching.
Week 6 - Idea pitch and celebrations
Just like that, we’ve reached the final week of your social innovation journey! Each team will pitch their ideas and their progress to invited guests and fellow classmates. For teams with impactful and effective ideas who wish to continue, we won’t leave you here, we’ll connect you with the appropriate organisations and funding opportunities available to you so you can take your idea to the next level. By the end of this session, all classmates will officially become Social Innovation Classroom fellows!