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Innovating our Communities with Icecream

A major training programme aimed at enhancing innovation and creativity among Donegal communities has just been launched – and it is set to bring exciting benefits to local towns and villages. The project is funded through the Donegal LEADER Local Action Group under the LEADER Programme*.
The Innovating Communities – designing our future Programme (ICP) will focus on teaching participants skills that will help solve problems that occur in local communities. One-hundred and fifty Donegal people are set to participate in the programme.
“The programme will equip people with new skills and tools to respond to issues in their communities” said Patsy McGonagle, Chairman of Donegal Local Development CLG.
“We are teaming up with local development companies in Leitrim, Sligo, Cavan, Monaghan and Louth to deliver this programme along the border. The approach will be solution based and will prove attractive to people actively involved in community life in a wide variety of ways.
“The training project will deliver innovative and creative training modules that will meet current challenges while building capabilities to cope with future opportunities, by adopting new techniques and increasing problem-solving capability and confidence.”
“Community and voluntary groups and individuals in Donegal will have the opportunity to be part of the 900 participants in this regional project scheduled to be trained over the course of the project. This volume of training will leave a legacy in all six participating regions, equipping them to be better able to overcome future challenges,” added Patsy.
“The training approach will be extremely useful in tackling the often difficult problems facing communities and individuals today, by understanding the human needs involved, by reframing the problem in practical ways, by creating many ideas in brain-storming sessions and by adopting a hands-on approach to prototyping and testing.”
Icecream Architecture, who will deliver this training programme in each of the six areas, have vast experience of delivering similar training programmes over the years and are looking forward to meeting and working with trainees in the weeks and months ahead.
There can be little doubt that a regional approach to skills development of this nature has the potential to provide increased opportunity over local approaches.” The challenges of an impending BREXIT and the impact of a pandemic like COVID-19, climate transition and how our communities and businesses respond to such important issues will no doubt feature as training topics.
The training will employ a ‘person centred design’ process where groups and individuals are helped identify topics important to their community or business and the training support will be provided to work with people to help them explore ideas and best possible solutions. The process will provide a high level of support to help community groups and would-be innovators move more confidently and creates a process for the discovery of community needs, idea generation and the testing of solutions.
“The scale of the project across the six Southern Border counties is significant, and the approach represents an important skills development initiative to respond to the current challenges border communities face at this time.”

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To register for more information or join the training, please visit www.innovating.ie

*We wish to acknowledge the project funding being provided by the Donegal LEADER Local Action Group under the LEADER Programme, the Department of Rural and Community Development under the National Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 and the European agricultural fund for rural development 2014-2020.

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