T: 074 91 27056 (Letterkenny)/ 074 97 25432 (Donegal Town)  E: info@dldc.org

Join Donegal’s Local Launch and workshop of Innovating Communities


To innovate means to make changes by introducing new methods and ideas.

Design thinking is a process that puts people at the heart of solving challenges and can be applied to any community challenge.


Innovating Communities aims to encourage and create a rural population that is open to new ideas and ways of working. The project will deliver innovative and creative training modules, using Design Thinking (DT), which will meet current challenges and opportunities. By adopting new techniques, community groups and individuals will increase their problem-solving capability and build their confidence to cope with changes and challenges in the future.

Innovating Communities will identify Challenges local people want to overcome and will create networks of people, projects and plans to make change happen.

Connecting rural communities through shared challenges and opportunities will give strength in numbers and build leverage to secure investment and development.

It can build networks of thinking by bringing together people of every background in their local area to understand what they share and what they can improve. By focussing on overcoming issues collaboratively and working through a set process, people can fully understand what solutions will work best for everyone.

IC is committed to working with a wide range of rural stakeholders in its development and delivery; you are invited to visit www.innovating.ie to log local challenges / opportunities and register to participate in the online training. The ‘Challenge Bank’ area of the website includes categories such as Biodiversity, Climate Action, Connectivity / Broadband, Smart Villages, Social Enterprise and more.

The project’s training modules will be determined by the public submissions which will localise and theme the content – ‘Diversification of rural economy for future sustainability’, ‘Digital inclusion’ and ‘Improve rural attractiveness’ are examples of areas for redress, submitted so far – add your voice and log yours. IC is a two year LEADER inter-territorial co-operation project and is the first of its kind in the Border region, spanning across counties Donegal, Monaghan, Louth, Leitrim, Sligo and Cavan.


Join Donegal’s Local Launch and workshop of Innovating Communities 

Niamh Kennedy Chairperson of Donegal LCDC and Patsy McGonagle Chairman DLDC will launch Innovating Communities, a LEADER cooperation project in County Donegal, this coming Thursday 25th February at 3pm. 

This is an opportunity to interact and learn more at a local level about the project. We welcome all members of our community to attend.  This event will be hosted on Google Meet To attend, please register your attendance at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/innovating-communities-donegal-local-launch-tickets-141734813643?aff=erellivmlt 

Upcoming Events: Thursday, 25 February at 3 pm, you are invited to attend the Local Launch of Innovating Communities in Donegal with an opportunity to interact and learn more at a local level about the project. This event will be hosted on Google Meet to REGISTER click HERE

or contact Margaret Larkin at mlarkin@dldc.org  


Design Thinking is rethinking how we problem solve – IC will employ this process which puts people at the heart of decision making and ideating. It can be applied to any challenge from helping young people access more / better job opportunities to developing a community wind farm.

DT is a five stage process which tackles problems by; Empathising, understanding the people affected; Defining the challenge, reframing it in a human way; Ideating, coming up with ideas; and finally, Prototyping and Testing the solutions.

Donegal Local Development CLG have recruited seven Volunteer Co-Trainers from throughout the county who will add that important local voice and perspective to the training preparation and delivery. The Co-Trainers will be deployed to work alongside Ice Cream Architecture, the main contracted training body for the project. This user-based approach gets rural communities tapping into local insights and coming up with practical, sustainable solutions while embedding a new way of thinking and working. Smaller interest groups and themes within the region will be heard and this presents an opportunity to create longer term, more democratic solutions that embraces diversity.


DLDC was inspired by the Nature of Innovation (NOI) project which was rolled out in four regions of Upper Austria, spurring on the development of IC. NOI projects included; Smart Villages, developing smart districts and combatting the main problems of rural areas such as limited access to technology, transport, etc.; A Dementia Orchestra, making society accessible to people with dementia and their relatives; A Cycling Region, looking at how they can make cycling nationally tangible for different target groups; and more.

IC offers hope and opportunity for our local areas for future plans and generations beyond present day uncertainties and pressures accelerated by Covid and BREXIT. IC’s legacy will inspire and live on within the local communities who will

Communities & Villages

IC enables us to:

  • Engage Directly with new applicants to develop projects, and those who have not benefited from LEADER funding before.
  • Build the capacity of our communities in preparation for the next LEADER programme
  • Promote projects which support communities in a post covid environment.
  • Support Digital transformation – to maximise the potential of broadband and the digital economy in communities, including building awareness of the potential for remote working facilities and digital inclusion.
  • Support Smart Village opportunities, helping communities to identify proposals in the context of new projects and opportunities.
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