Project Deliverables

Handbook and Activities Depository

BUFSIE Guide - Introduction to the Co-creation process

BUFSIE IO1 Framework

Frequently Asked Questions

Module 1: Introduction to Social Innovation Education

What is Social Innovation Education (SIE)?
Social Innovation Education is a collaborative and collective learning process for students’ empowerment and socio/political activation of students to drive social change regardless of their professional pathways. SIE builds students’ competencies to identify opportunities for social value creation, form collaborations , build social relationships , and take innovative action for a more democratic and sustainable society.

Do I need a specific context/problem in order to apply social innovation?
No social innovation by its nature is a collective process that can be applied in order to find solutions in various situations based on the power and motivation of the participants. As a result it is not necessary only to deal with situations in an academic environment or problems in class. What it is expected through the process of social innovation is the development of a new way of thinking/approaching issues that will enable social groups/teams to work, find solutions improve those and adopt them.

My organization does not have formal structures and processes with regards to social innovation. How can we foster social innovation and what kind of activities can we easily organize to this direction?
Social innovation can be fostered both formally and informally. In other words, the good news is, that even if your organization does not have the formal structures needed already in place, you can still create an environment that promotes social innovation. An informal method focuses more on creating informal networks, communication channels, and gatherings to increase task-mastering flexibility. There is a wide range of social innovation initiatives in educational ecosystems, including social entrepreneurial activities, school reform, social work in schools, and more. Instead of adopting a top-down approach, social innovation processes typically begin with an analysis of the needs (of a particular social group or user group). You can start, in other words, by identifying a problem or issue. After this is done, you can proceed to tailor creative solutions. This is more accurately described as a bottom-up or grassroots approach. The BUFSIE serious game and MOOC, include many creative examples of social innovation in a higher education setting, such as clothing upcycling initiatives, public space interventions, etc.

Module 2: Co Creation lab

Is it possible to implement a SIE project without a Co-creation Lab?
A Social Innovation Education Co-Creation Lab is a collaborative space where students, educators, researchers, and community members can work together to identify and solve social problems using innovative and interdisciplinary approaches. It is a platform for co-creation and knowledge exchange that fosters creativity, experimentation, and social impact. It is not possible to implement an SIE project at the HEI without the Co-creation Lab, because it provides a structured environment for exploring and implementing new ideas, building networks and partnerships, and developing skills and knowledge related to social innovation. It also encourages participation and engagement from diverse stakeholders, including marginalized communities, which can lead to more inclusive and equitable solutions.

How difficult is it to organise a co-creation lab in a university context?
It is not difficult to organise a co-creation lab, as long as you achieve to engage students, so they feel committed and passionate to develop something meaningful. Then, as a lecturer/ professor, you just need to take care of the smooth implementation of the co-creation lab, following the steps you can find in the co-creation guide.

What if I fail to attract 20 approximately students in the Co-creation Lab? Can SIE Co-creation lab be organized with only a few participants?
Yes, the Co-creation lab can be organized with only a few participants. The number of participants in a Co-creation lab can vary depending on the nature of the challenge being addressed and the goals of the lab. In fact, having a smaller group of participants can sometimes be advantageous as it allows for more focused and intimate discussions and can lead to deeper insights and more productive outcomes. However, it is important to ensure that the participants represent a diverse range of perspectives and expertise to ensure a rich and varied exchange of ideas. Ultimately, the success of a Co-creation lab depends on the quality of the participants, the facilitation of the lab, and the commitment to a collaborative and open process of ideation and problem-solving.

Module 3: The SIE competence Framework for HEIs

If I have little time in class, can I work on social innovation in class?
To work on social innovation in higher education, we offer two resources: the BUFSIE game and the Handbook of activities. The BUFSIE game introduces the concept of social innovation and the different problems and challenges that we find in our environment. The Handbook offers a compendium of activities and specifies the social innovation competences to be worked on in each of them and the time spent on each activity. This makes it easier to work on teaching innovation, considering the competences to be developed, the times and even in collaboration with other subjects or teaching teams.

How important is it to achieve the changemaker level in order to work on social innovation in higher education?

Acquiring the changemaker level requires carrying out a social innovation project in collaboration with various agents, stakeholders, previous learning already acquired and time of dedication. It is always possible to enter into social innovation and develop the competences with several subsequent activities. It is important that, at some point in the students’ academic life, they manage to carry out social innovation projects and acquire the competences so that they can easily transfer them to working life.

How can an individual use a competence framework to assess their own skills and knowledge?
An individual can use a competence framework to assess their skills and knowledge by comparing their current level of adoption against the framework’s standards or criteria. By doing so, they can identify areas where they may need to improve or develop their skills and create a personal development plan to address any gaps. The competence framework can also help individuals to understand what is expected of them if they will be engaged in social innovation projects, and how they can progress with it. Additionally, using a standardized framework, individuals can demonstrate their competence to potential stakeholders, increasing their credibility and value.

Module 4: Tools to introduce and implement SIE for HEIs

How can the BUFSIE Serious Game be applied?
The BUFSIE Serious Game is especially useful as an introduction to the topic of social innovation. It gives various examples and clarifies the most important terms. The application can be individual. It can be used individually or in groups during the seminar, or self-directed by the students at home. To play the game, a computer or smart device and an internet connection is required.

Can I just use the game to implement Social Innovation Education in my university?
The game is designed to introduce key concepts and examples and to provide a positive learning experience. It is particularly suitable as an introduction to the topic. It does not describe the methodological approach to introducing social innovation education in higher education. To effectively integrate social innovation education into higher education at a deeper level, further resources (such as the Co-Creation Guide and the Handbook and depository of activities) are available and recommended.

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