Movement Makers “Learn, Connect, Do” is set to be a recurring event after its successful debut at Glasgow Caledonian University on Tuesday.
The inaugural Movement Makers enabled over 100 people to explore models, motivations, and aspirations for social innovation. Organised by The Melting Pot, Scotland’s centre for social innovation, the event was hosted by Glasgow Caledonian University.
Josh Littlejohn, co-founder of Social Bite, featured as keynote speaker. This was followed by breakout sessions and a panel consisting of academics and practitioners from the social, environmental, and health and wellbeing sectors. This broad intersection of representation, united around similar values and concerns, positioned Movement Makers as a platform to discuss challenges and solutions for Scotland’s most pressing problems.
What our speakers had to say:
During his keynote speech, Littlejohn told the story of establishing Social Bite. He spoke honestly about the unique challenges that social innovation brought to starting up a business. Littlejohn explained how his positive outlook on impact helped drive his social business forward:
“Be the change you want to see. If you state it, it will happen.”
Littlejohn hoped attendees of Movement Makers were inspired from the day, and would direct that energy into their own journeys.
“If you engage creatively around a social challenge, it keeps you thinking about the next avenues and pathways that challenge can take, and increases the impact your ideas can have. It’s exciting when you see an organisation get traction that may be able to influence policy!”
What the university had to say:
With connections and relationships at the forefront, Movement Makers was another step in solidifying the relationship between The Melting Pot and Glasgow Caledonian University. The Melting Pot is also key partner on Glasgow Caledonian University’s SIKE Project (Social Innovation through Knowledge Exchange).
Mark Anderson, Director of The Europe Office at Glasgow Caledonian University, was the host and MC of Movement Makers. “Social innovators need to understand the support universities can give them,” Anderson stated. He believes the relationship between GCU and The Melting Pot is an important step in embracing social change. “Universities are traditionally where knowledge is created. Innovation is about giving knowledge value: social innovation is about giving that knowledge social value.”
And The Melting Pot:
The Melting Pot, based in Edinburgh, is Scotland’s Centre for Social Innovation. The community exists to stimulate and support social innovation by providing a range of practical resources, knowledge, support, and networks to diverse enterprises aiming to generate social impact across Scotland.
Led by event coordinator Julie Ellam and a team of volunteers, Movement Makers was designed to fit in to The Melting Pot’s calendar to inspire innovative conversations and ideas.
“Movement Makers is a catalytic event, bringing people together to share knowledge and ideas. It helps The Melting Pot meet its mission: to support and stimulate social innovation,” The Melting Pot founder and CEO, Claire Carpenter, observed. “Social change happens when people get up and do something about an idea they’ve got, or they get up and help someone else,” Carpenter commented. “Not everything can happen over social media!”
What attendees had to say:
“For so long, social enterprises have been seen as the little guys, but – you look at someone like Josh [Littlejohn], and the change he’s made on the big stage – the message is that anything is possible. Stick to your values, don’t compromise them, and if your message is good you’ll get there in the end.”
By drawing attention to the intersections between diverse issues in Scotland, discussions at Movement Makers quickly inspired innovative problem solving.
The Call to action:
To those who attended: now you are a Movement Maker, don’t let the momentum slow down! Link up with your new connections, and continue conversations over coffee or at the pub. A change in location may spur new ideas or inspire a novel approach to an old problem.
Did Movement Makers inspire the next big idea in you and you don’t know what to do with it? Since 2011, The Melting Pot has been running Good Ideas Academy, an incubator that inspires and supports people to turn their great ideas into new social enterprises, charities, and campaigns. If you’re interested, check out the upcoming events here.
Mark Anderson summed up the ethos behind Movement Makers perfectly: “the only way social innovation can grow is to keep connecting, keep learning, and keep doing.” If you are interested in hearing about TMP’s upcoming events, check out The Melting Pot’s events calendar. You can also subscribe to our newsletter.
Thank you again to all those who attended. It was exciting to see people coming together to learn, connect, and make things happen: see you next time!
Keep talking, keep exploring, keep curious.
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The Melting Pot is Scotland’s Centre for Social Innovation and key partner on the SIKE Project (Social Innovation through Knowledge Exchange), an EU Erasmus+ project coordinated by Glasgow Caledonian University. The Melting Pot stimulates and supports social innovation by providing a range of practical resources, knowledge, support and networks to diverse enterprises aiming to generate social impact across Scotland.
Images © Claudia Scandella 2018
We wouldn’t have been able to put on this event with collaborating with some fantastic people. Thank you all!