Experiential Workshops and Reports
Experiential workshops organised in Portugal, UK and Denmark allowed learners to immerse themselves in international cultures of social innovation and entrepreneurship, exploiting best practices and investigating a diverse set of business models and fields of intervention (e.g. public, private, non-profit, community based, etc.). Through these experiential workshops, benefiting from an international immersive experience, learners were exposed to different social entrepreneurship business models, sectors and development phases (with the added value of understanding social business across cultures).
Designed to be a blended learning programme, they combined experiential learning with introductory and follow-up sessions based on the Unravel Tomorrow MOOC. The experiential learning were organised over 3 days. During the workshops, facilitators from the consortium were available to support and guide participants through the learning experience.
Workshop 1 - Liverpool
Regenerus hosted the first Unravel Tomorrow experiential workshop in Liverpool in May 2019. Creating an international learning experience for aspiring social entrepreneurs from across Europe, this was a fantastic opportunity to showcase some of the best of the social economy across the Liverpool City Region.
15 participants spent three days visiting 11 social enterprises operating in a variety of business sectors including women’s enterprise training, incubator units and co-working space, digital and media training, creative, arts and culture, food sustainability, maker spaces, tech and manufacturing.
From early stage start-ups like Alchemy Kitchen and iWoman and co-working spaces: The Invisible Wind Factory, Make North Liverpool and DoES Liverpool, to the well-established organisations generating profits through their trading activities, such as Baltic Creative, SAFE Regeneration and The Women’s Organisation, our local social entrepreneurs shared their organisations’ stories, from how and why they started to where they are now, highlighting key successes and challenges along the journey, and the roots to sustainability, so that our visitors could learn from their experiences.
The experiential workshop was designed to help these aspiring social entrepreneurs on their journey to setting up a new social enterprise, by improving their knowledge and understanding of social enterprise, and beginning to strengthen their skills and competences to develop their own project idea.
Inviting participants to join the Unravel Tomorrow community, we are also keen that the shape and content of the digital learning resources we are developing as part of the project (Massive Online Open Course) is designed by potential users to ensure that it reflects their needs and is useful, relevant and appropriate to adult learners in all national contexts.
Interspersed with creative activity sessions, the blended learning experience encouraged reflection and gathered feedback and views on the key skills and competences demonstrated by the social entrepreneurs to inform the Learning Framework.
Workshop 2 - Porto
In September 2019, our pioneering social entrepreneurs shared ideas, perspectives and experiences by immersing themselves in the Matosinhos community in Portugal, being introduced to different social innovation projects and social enterprises.
Participants were excited to meet up with other like-minded people from across Europe, all interested in how we can build more social enterprises to make a difference in our local communities. Together the 15 participants enjoyed learning from local organisations including:
*CEiiA, a hub of innovative research and invention, developing new ideas into products and processes to address some of the challenges we face in today’s world.
*The local market in Matosinhos, which has rebuilt itself with a real community focus, led by the stallholders and local shops.
*Scholé, a school with a difference, which aims to educate in active collaboration with the family and the community to stimulate curiosity and encourage exploration and discovery to nurture active citizens.
In the Talkshop, the group met with two social entrepreneurs, one encouraging people to try to achieve a zero-waste lifestyle, and the other designing avatars to encourage children to engage and connect, learning from their experiences in establishing their projects. Interspersed with workshops investigating key skills and competences, participants were also set a challenge, so they could put their newly-acquired skills into practice working on the design of a real local project! There are so many benefits to international learning experiences, as our participants told us, from “meeting inspired change-makers” to “learning about the different community initiatives from my peers in their home cities”. Everyone came away inspired by “knowing that there are people thinking in an ‘alternative’ way, away from the traditional system”.
Workshop 3 - Copenhagen
Completing our experiential workshop experiences, 15 social entrepreneur pioneers visited Copenhagen in December 2019 to learn more from leading players in the city and from each other.
Co-creation was key to this Copenhagen learning journey. Visiting and talking to experts and practitioners within the fields of design, politics and business, our participants explored:
Together they drew on what they had learnt to co-create a set of insights about what it takes to work effectively together to create a better society.
Meeting new friends from across the EU, identifying more than 50 signals of change related to co-creating and collectively making the following ﬁve insights to shine light on our research question.