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A Social Gathering

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The Thinking Cup Cafe / The Book Reserve
407 Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7HN
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About the Event

An informal gathering exploring the role of design in social innovation. Social Innovation focuses attention on the ideas and solutions that create social value – as well as the processes through which they are generated. A Social Gathering will explore design in social innovation within Northern Ireland.

Our panel of social innovators will be:

+ Derv Heaney / The Holding Project

The Holding Project is a social enterprise which seeks to build micro homes for young working people in Northern Ireland. As it becomes harder for the millennial generation to become socially and economically mobile because of housing problems, The Holding Project allows someone to live for a set period of time in the community through which they will save to a financial goal. The money saved could be to buy a house, start a business or even travel. The hope is to offer an alternative approach to housing which fosters a sustainable community in eco-friendly, compact homes. The team consists of:

Derv Heaney - Founder and Designer

Chris Millar - Designer / Operations Director

Sean Cullen - Researcher

Dearbhaile Heaney is a designer and entrepreneur with an interest in social and cultural systems. She studied at Goldsmiths and The Royal College of Art and has worked across the UK and Ireland in various roles within the design and business industries.

+ Marianne Kennerley / Boom Studios

Marianne Kennerley is a multi-disciplinary artist and designer, based in Bangor, Northern Ireland.  She is the co-founder and Studio Co-Ordinator of Boom! Studios, Bangor. A social enterprise providing workspace and services for the local creative industry.  Marianne graduated from Belfast School of Art at the Ulster University with an MA in Multidisciplinary Design in 2013. Her creative practice has continued to develop and focuses on her passion for : Making Things. Making things,better.

Marianne seeks out problems, turning them into opportunities to design and deliver projects with an aesthetic and positive social outcome.

Working in partnership with support agencies, health trusts, local councils and the community and voluntary sector, her recent journey has evolved projects that have a strong social consequence and consider place.
Through the projects she creates, co-designs and delivers she searches for a method of reuse that benefits, engages and empowers the bigger community and challenges established thinking.

 + Paul Smyth / Nextdoor

Paul Smyth is the City Launcher for Nextdoor in Northern Ireland. Nextdoor is a new neighbourhood based social network that is growing quickly across the UK. Paul will talk about how Nextdoor is the social network our city has been waiting for.

Paul has over 30 years experience of cross-community youth work, and has worked in the voluntary, statutory and private sectors and with youth workers, young people and youth policy makers in convicted and post-conflict societies around the world. He ran the multi-award winning youth organisation Public Achievement for 16 years - including its WIMPS - 'Where is My Public Servant?' project - which won a UK Tech for Good award for community engagement. He studied Fine Art at the Belfast art college, and has Masters degrees in Youth Work and Innovation Management.

+ Debbie Craig/ Boop & Limejar

Early Intervention is the key to providing children with Autism with a brighter future. Enabling them to fully pursue their passions and interests as adults and helping them to integrate and interact.
Boop focuses on creating greater independence, encouraging self-organisation and self-assessment and teaching and maintaining life skills for children on the Autism Spectrum.
Boop not only benefits the children but it also provides those involved in their care and education with the opportunity to take a proactive role in caring for them. Boop gives everyone a voice and keeps everyone in the loop.

+ Meta Auden/Spectra Sensory Clothing

Meta Auden is in the process of setting up a new company called Spectra Sensory Clothing. The aim is to make clothes for children on the autism spectrum. Many of these children have sensory issues which makes finding clothes difficult.  Meta will be chatting to us about her brand new startup!

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